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Investigation on subsonic to supersonic flow around a sphere at low Reynolds number of between 50 and 300 by direct numerical simulation
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In this study, analysis of flow properties around a sphere and its aerodynamic coefficients in the high-Mach-and-low-Reynolds-numbers conditions is carried out by direct numerical simulations solving the three-dimensional compressible Navier–Stokes equations. The calculation is performed on a boundary-fitted coordinate system with a high-order scheme of sufficient accuracy. The analysis is conducted by assuming a rigid sphere with a Reynolds number of between 50 and 300, based on the diameter of the sphere and the freestream velocity and a freestream Mach number of between 0.3 and 2.0, together with the adiabatic wall boundary condition. The calculation shows the following yields: (1) unsteady fluctuation of hydrodynamic forces become smaller as the Mach number increases under the same Reynolds number condition, (2) the drag coefficient increases with the Mach number due to an increase in the pressure drag by the shock wave, and (3) an accurate prediction of the drag coefficient in the supersonic regime using traditional models might be difficult.
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