Date of Award


Access Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Dr. Mark Ricklick

First Committee Member

Dr. John Gordon Leishman

Second Committee Member

Dr. Richard Anderson


The modeling of a ram-air parachute presents challenges in the prediction of the inflight geometry, as there is a strong interaction between the flow field and parachute structure. This thesis presents the development of a CAD design and CFD methodology to the simulation of ram-air parachutes in steady-state conditions. Starting from a 2D rib drawing, methods were developed to approximate the 3D geometry and efficiently model the parachute as a rigid and impermeable body. The use of distortions was implemented on a 2D, pseudo-2D, and 3D model to enhance their behavior during a real flight. The SST turbulence model was chosen for the modeling of these designs because of its suitability to predict flow separation and reattachment from adverse pressure gradients. The high complexity of the 3D model is handled using appropriate boundary conditions and cleaning geometric tools within the CFD software.