The Brillance of Ingenuity

CFDRC featured on Air Force SBIR/STTR “Seeding the Future” for hostile fire signature models

Huntsville, Ala. | January 11, 2018 - The Air Force SBIR/STTR program recently visited CFD Research Corporation and our sponsoring customer the Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC) to learn more about the efforts we are collaborating on to support the warfighter with advanced hostile fire signature models. The Air Force produced “Seeding the Future” video provides interviews with CFDRC and AEDC staff and more background on the goals and importance of this capability for the nation’s warfighter.

The objective of the program is to tailor and focus the capabilities of a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) package for prediction of the rapid events following the firing of rocket-propelled munitions, as well as the firing of small caliber weapons. These events differ from larger missile plumes in that they are very fast, short duration events occurring just at the time of weapon firing. Detection of these firing events is critical because they provide the first, and often the most intensely detectable signal that a hostile weapon has been fired.

“Without this technology we could not perform the calculations that we needed to compute the signatures of these fast transient muzzle blast and muzzle flash signatures from rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns. Without that we simply can't meet our customer’s needs,” said Dr. Robert Hiers, AEDC SME.

CFDRC is providing the capability to predict the flow-field external to these weapons in sufficient detail to allow the accurate prediction of the electro-optical signature of the firing event via post-processing the flow-field simulation results and integration with a radiative transfer model. This will be accomplished by upgrades and adaptation to an existing CFD tool, and extensive validation of the software to determine the optimum numerical approach, including chemical reaction mechanisms required for accurate simulation of small caliber ammunition firing and rocket-propelled grenades.

About CFD Research Corporation: Since its inception in 1987, CFDRC has worked with government agencies, businesses and academia to provide innovative solutions within the Aerospace & Defense, Biomedical & Life Sciences, and Energy & Materials industries. Over the years CFDRC has earned multiple national awards for successful application and commercialization of innovative component/system technology prototypes, multi-physics simulation software, multi-disciplinary analyses, and expert support services. CFDRC is an ISO9001:AS9100 registered company and is appraised at CMMI Level II for services. Learn more at

Richard Thoms
Manger, Technology Partnerships // 256.726.4810


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