NASA Education

There are a lot of several disciplines for design an aircraft, aerodynamics, propulsion, meteorology, physics, fluids mechanics, etc. NASA has some simulators for understanding some of these disciplines. You can simulate the design of a wing foil, a jet engine, simulate the pressure and temperatures in the atmosphere, design a rocket and test some of them in wind tunnels. There is a bonus material, the source code of these simulators, a great material for understanding how the simulators works and you can freely modify them under the NASA’s terms and conditions expressed in the source code’s heading. Enjoy them!

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Important Note:

  • These simulators developed in Java can be executed in the web browser, please read before if you have the proper security policies configured on your browser, since few years ago Java applets on navigator have extra security policies. If you have problems with the execution of the applications please read this website how to easily change the security policies.
  • If you use MacOSX, please use only Safari or Firebox.
  • I you might also need change the Java Security options adding or allowing www.aeriaa.com as a “good” site. Please read this easy steps for MacOSX  and this one for MS Windows easy steps on how to do it.

Atmosphere Simulator:

This program lets you study how pressure, temperature, and density change through the atmosphere. You can study the atmosphere of the Earth or of Mars. Since speed of sound depends on the atmospheric gas and the temperature, you can also output the local speed of sound and the Mach number for a selected aircraft velocity. You can either input a selected altitude, or change altitude using an aircraft slider.

NASA Atmosphere Simulator

NASA Atmosphere Simulator

execute

SourceCode

Engine Simulator:

EngineSim is a simulator that models the design and testing of jet engines. The program works in two modes: Design Mode or Tunnel Test Mode. In the Design Mode, you can change design variables including the flight conditions, the engine size, the inlet performance, the turbo machinery compressor and turbine performance, the combustors or burner performance, or the nozzle performance. For a turbofan engine design you can also vary the fan performance and the bypass ratio. When you have a design that you like, you can switch to the Tunnel Test Mode which simulates the testing of a jet engine on a test stand. You can then vary the test altitude, flight speed and throttle setting. Several existing engines are also modeled in EngineSim.

NASA Engine Simulator

NASA Engine Simulator

execute

SourceCode

 

Wing Lift and Drag Simulator:

FoilSim III computes the theoretical lift and drag of a variety of airfoil shapes. The user can control the shape, size, and inclination of the airfoil and the atmospheric conditions in which the airfoil is flying. The program includes a stall model for the airfoil, a model of the Martian atmosphere, and the ability to specify a variety of fluids for lift comparisons. The program has graphical and numerical output, including an interactive probe which you can use to investigate the details of flow around an airfoil.

NASA Wing Foil Simulator

NASA Wing Foil Simulator

execute

SourceCode

 

Wing Geometry Designer:

Is a simulator to design an aircraft wing model. You interactively change the chord, span, camber, and thickness of the wing and the program generates the geometry. The geometry is displayed in a three-dimensional projection and as an engineering drawing. For the TunnelSys Application, the output from design program becomes the input to the wind tunnel test program. For the TunnelSys Applet, the design illustrates many of the design variables described on the wing geometry web page

NASA Wing Geometry designer

NASA Wing Geometry designer

execute

SourceCode

 

Wind Tunnel Operation:

Helps you design an open return wind tunnel. The program solves the continuity equation for a geometry that you specify using sliders and input boxes. The analysis is limited to incompressible, inviscid, one-dimensional flows, and the program warns the user if the diffuser angle exceeds a separation criteria (> 7 degrees) or if the speed in any section of the tunnel exceeds 300 mph. Calculations are in English or Metric units.

NASA Wind Tunnel Operation

NASA Wind Tunnel Operation

execute

SourceCode

 

Rocket Modeler:

Rocket Modeler was developed at the NASA Glenn Research Center in an effort to foster hands-on, inquiry-based learning in science and math. RocketModeler is a simulator that models the design and flight of a model rocket. You can change design variables including the size, and shape of the rocket body, the fins, the nose cone. You can also select different materials for each component. The program calculates the weight of the rocket and determines the drag coefficient from a table of experimental data. You can select from a variety of standard solid rocket engines. The program computes the center of gravity and pressure for your rocket and determines the stability. When you have a design that you like, you move to the pad, where you can launch your rocket and observe its flight trajectory. You can pause at any time to record data and then continue the flight through parachute deploy and recovery. The program models stomp rockets, bottle rockets, and ballistic shells in addition to solid model rockets. It also supports both English and Metric units, and you can fly your rockets on the Earth, Moon, or Mars.

NASA Rocket Modeler

NASA Rocket Modeler

execute

SourceCode

 

NASA Sources:

You can complement the use of these simulators with all the material in the NASA’s site. www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/k-12/airplane/guided.htm

You can also see here the free software available. www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/k-12/freesoftware_page.htm

 

Credits and disclaimer:

NASA and NASA’s logo are trademarks by www.nasa.gov, all the programs are developed by NASA and its authors,  www.aeriaa.com does not have any responsibility of system, navigator, application malfunction or security problem derived of configuring the system for executing the simulators. This post has the only intention of spreading aviation knowledge. For more info: www.nasa.gov and www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/k-12/disclaimer.htm

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