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Subsonic Detailed Missile Aerodynamic Software
Subsonic Detailed Missile Aerodynamic Software
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Programs MISDL, SUBDL, and SUPDL employ elements of aerodynamic theory, including vortical theory, and they predict overall aerodynamic performance coefficients and detailed aerodynamic loading distributions on the body and fins of a missile. The missile finned sections can have planar, triform, cruciform, and low profile fin layouts. Fin planform can be arbitrary. Effects of rotational rates and of nonuniform flow are included. The overall and detailed aerodynamics predicted by these programs are beneficial to aerodynamic, structural, and control system engineers. The software packages include a post processor for generating aerodynamic forces for input to structural analysis program NASTRAN. The prediction programs are not limited to missile configurations, aircraft aerodynamic performance coefficients can also be determined.

Program SUBDL is capable of calculating pressure distributions acting on subsonic missiles. Program SUBDL is based on axis singularities and subsonic panel methods to model lift and volume/thickness effects of the body and the fins. The program is equipped with methodology for modeling the formation of fin edge and body flow separation vorticity and for calculating the paths and effects of the vortices along the missile. A stall model is incorporated in the fin load calculations. The applicable range of parameter for the SUBDL program is listed below.

Range of Parameters

0.0 M critical ~0.8
-20 angle of attack +20
roll angle arbitrary
-20 fin deflection angle +20
fin planform and aspect ratio arbitrary

A description of the methodology and the program document are given in Reference 1.

The output of SUBDL includes pressure distributions, distributed loads, and fin and body forces, and concludes with overall longitudinal and lateral-directional force and moment coefficients. In addition, a post processor generates aerodynamic forces in NASTRAN bulk force input format at user-specified grid points for structural analysis. The post processor NASCON converts aerodynamic forces calculated at aerodynamic control points to aerodynamic forces at specified structural grid points. In this process, the total forces and moments acting on each of the fins and the body are conserved.

As an option, SUBDL can be linked with the NEAR subsonic store separation program SUBSTR for detailed aerodynamic analysis of store carriage loads and trajectories.

Programs SUBDL is available for most workstation computers subject to license fees and a software license agreement. For maximum utility of the code, NEAR recommends a two-day training course which includes interpretation of the output and "hands-on" code running.


  1. Leisieutre, D J., Dillenius, M. F. E., and Whittaker, C. H.: "Program SUBSAL and Modified Subsonic Store Separation Program for Calculating NASTRAN Forces Acting on Missiles Attached to Subsonic Aircraft." NAWCWPNS TM 7319, May 1992.
  2. Control of Hinge Moment by Tailoring Fin Structure and Planform - with M. F. E. Dillenius, J. F. Love and S. C. Perkins, Jr.. NEAR TR 530, December 1997.
  3. Missile Fin Planform Optimization for Improved Performance - with M. F. E. Dillenius and T. O. Lesieutre. NEAR PAPER. To be presented at AGARD 82nd Fluid Dynamics Panel Symposium on Missile Aerodynamics, Sorrento, Italy, May 1998.
  4. Engineering, Intermediate, and High Level Aerodynamic Prediction Methods and Applications - with M. F. E. Dillenius, M. C. Hegedus, S. C. Perkins, Jr., J. F. Love, and T. O. Lesieutre. NEAR PAPER 356, AIAA Paper 97 2278, June 1997. Presented at AIAA Conference, Atlanta, GA, June 1997.
  5. Optimal Aerodynamic Design of Advanced Missile Configurations with Geometric and Structural Constraints - with T. O. Lesieutre and M. F. E Dillenius. NEAR TR 520, April 1997.
  6. Planform/Configuration Optimization Program OPTMIS for Arbitrary Cross Section Configurations With Up To Two Fin Sets Software User's Manual and Software Programmer's Manual - with T. O. Lesieutre and M. F. E. Dillenius. NEAR TR 519, April 1997.
  7. New Application of Engineering Level Missile Aerodynamics and Store Separation Prediction Methods - with M. F. E. Dillenius, T. O. Lesieutre, and C. H. Whittaker. AIAA Paper 94-0028, January 1994.
  8. Methodology for Aerostructural Analysis of a Missile Attached to a Maneuvering Aircraft - with M. F. E. Dillenius, S. C. Perkins, E. L. Jeter, J. C. Schulz. AIAA Paper No. 89-0480, AIAA 27th Aerospace Sciences Mtg., Reno, NV, January 9-12, 1989.



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