Effect of Martian atmosphere on aerodynamic performance of supersonic parachute two-body systems

Xiaopeng XUE, He JIA, Wei RONG, Qi WANG, Chih yung WEN

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Supersonic flows around parachute two-body systems are numerically investigated by solving the compressible Navier-Stokes equations. In the present study, both rigid and flexible parachute models are considered, which comprise a capsule and a canopy. The objective of the present study is to investigate the effects of the Martian atmosphere on the unsteady flows produced by these parachute two-body models and the structural behavior of the flexible canopy. It was found that in the Martian atmosphere, the supersonic rigid parachutes with shorter trailing distances exhibited weaker aerodynamic interactions between the capsule wake and canopy shock, resulting in a smaller pressure distribution on the typical surfaces of the canopy. By contrast, because the flow modes around the flexible parachute in the Martian atmosphere were similar to those of the rigid parachute under the air conditions of the wind tunnel tests, the canopy shape was almost unchanged. When a new canopy material was designed by decreasing the Young's modulus and damping coefficient, an area oscillation phenomenon was observed in the flexible parachute with a trailing distance of 10 in the Martian atmosphere. Consequently, the Martian atmosphere (low density and pressure) has a significant effect on the aerodynamic performance of the flexible parachute system.

Original languageEnglish
JournalChinese Journal of Aeronautics
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 26 May 2021


  • Canopy flexibility
  • Fluid structure interaction
  • Martian atmosphere
  • Supersonic parachute
  • Unsteady flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

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