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26TH INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON BALLISTICS

MIAMI, FL, SEPTEMBER 1216, 2011

MAGNUS EFFECT: PHYSICAL ORIGINS AND


NUMERICAL PREDICTION

R. Cayzac1, E. Carette2, P. Denis3 and P. Guillen3


1
Head of Aerodynamics, Technical Direction, Nexter Munitions, 7 Route de Guerry, 18023
Bourges Cedex, France and Associate Professor, ENSIB/PRISME, 88 Boulevard Lahitolle,
18020 Bourges Cedex, France
2
Research Associate in Aerodynamics, Technical Direction, Nexter Munitions, 7 Route de
Guerry, 18023 Bourges Cedex, France
3
Research Engineer, Applied Aerodynamics Department, Office National dtudes et de
Recherches Arospatiales, 29, avenue de la Division Leclerc, BP72, 92322 Chtillon
Cedex, France

Full manuscript available in the Journal of Applied Mechanics, September 2011, American Society of
Mechanical Engineers

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An overview of the Magnus effect of projectiles and missiles is presented.
The first part of the paper is devoted to the description of the physical mechanisms governing the
Magnus effect.
The second part of the paper is dedicated to the numerical prediction and validation of these flow
phenomena. A state of the art is presented including classical CFD methods based on RANS
(Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes) and URANS (Unsteady RANS) equations, and also hybrid
RANS/LES approach called ZDES.
For validation purposes computational results were compared with wind tunnel tests. A wide
range of angles of attack, spin rates, Reynolds and Mach numbers (subsonic, transonic and
supersonic) have been investigated.

INTRODUCTION
The Magnus effect is an old fluid dynamics phenomenon. It seems that Isaac
Newton has been the first one who had described it in 1671 [1] after observing
jeu de paume (court tennis) players in his Cambridge college. Benjamin Robins
in 1742 [2] explained deviations in the trajectories of musket balls in terms of
Magnus effect. Afterward, Heinrich Magnus described the effect with details in
1852 [3,4], and left his name to this physical phenomenon. In 1877, Lord
Rayleigh [5] proposed a first analytical formula of the phenomenon in the case
of a cylinder. The possibility of inverting the Magnus force by modifying the
experimental conditions, rotation speed of the cylinder-roughness of the wall,
was revealing by Lafay in 1910 [6]. Further to the works of Prandtl in 1904, it is
only in 1955 that Krahn [8] connects the Magnus effect with the viscous
phenomena of the boundary layer. Then, numerous studies were dedicated to the
study of the Magnus effect, both in the civil domain (spinning balls in sport:
table tennis, tennis, volleyball, golf, etc.) and in the field of Defense (projectiles,
missiles, etc.). Concerning projectiles or missiles, the References
[15,20,22,30,31] focus on wind tunnel or flight tests, and the References
[14,16,18,19,21,23-29,32-40] on numerical prediction and validation.

MAGNUS EFFECT
Magnus Effect of Yawing and Spinning Projectiles
Figure 1 shows the Magnus effect origin. At small incidences, the top right
figure compares two symmetric boundary layer profiles, with respect to the
plane of symmetry. Spin induces a weak asymmetry between the left and right
sides. The spinning wall deviates the transversal free stream to the left side,
pushing the projectile to the right.
The bottom right picture presents what the Magnus effect origin is on a body at
high incidences. Increased spin causes the separated vortex sheets to be altered
with respect to the plane of symmetry. Vortex asymmetry generates an
additional lateral force which gives a contribution to the Magnus. The figure on
the left exhibits the numerical longitudinal Magnus and normal force
distributions. Boundary layer growth is maximum on the boattail, because of
spin-induced distortion. Consequently, the majority of the Magnus force is
generated by the rear section. In this process, it is well known that pressure and
shear components act in opposite directions, the pressure component being
strongly dominant. Whereas, most of the normal force comes from the ogive.
Also it can be noted that the Magnus force amplitude is very weak compared to
the normal force.

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Fig. 1 Physical aspects of the Magnus of Spin-Stabilized Projectiles

Magnus Effect of Finned Projectiles


Few studies have been devoted to the Magnus effect of finned projectiles or
missiles [7,10,11,27,29,35,36]. There are two main sources contributing to the
Magnus effect. Firstly, the interaction between the asymmetric body boundary
layer-wake and the fins, and secondly, the spin-induced modifications of the
local incidences and of the flow topology. Different flow topologies could be
encountered on the lee-side part of the fins: an attached flow at low incidences,
and a separated flow at the leading edge with a lee-side shock at higher
incidences. The lee side flow, corresponding to this second situation, is
presented here in Fig. 2(a). One common characteristic is the shock (I in Fig.
2(a)), which goes from the apex to the trailing edge. The second characteristic is
the development of a tip vortex (II in Fig. 2(a) and see Fig. 2(b)), particularly for
the right fin, whose spinning movement opposes the transversal freestream. The
apex shock tends to decrease local force near the root chord, whereas the tip
vortex tends to increase local force near the tip chord.

Fig. 2 Magnus effect on fins, (a) pressure ratio on the lee-side of the fins, (b) velocity vector
at a longitudinal station, Mach 4.3, p*= 0.041, Pi = 7.7 Bar, Ti = 295 K, = 4.22

NUMERICAL PREDICTION OF THE MAGNUS EFFECT


Wind Tunnel Tests
Tests were carried out in the ONERA S3MA trisonic blow down wind tunnel
[30-32]. For complementary validation purposes, wind tunnel results available
in the open literature were also used [15,20,22].

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CFD Computations
The multiblock Navier-Stokes solver used in the present study is mainly the
FLU3M code developed by the ONERA. This code allows RANS, URANS and
hybrid RANS/LES computations. An example of RANS/LES computation is
shown in Fig. 3. The motivation for this approach was to combine the best
features of a RANS approach with the best features of LES The main concern in
this technique is the switch between the two modes.

Fig. 3 RANS/LES computational sketch

Prediction of the Magnus Effect of Yawing and Spinning Projectiles


For supersonic flow conditions (Fig. 4(a)), the comparison between the
RANS computations, using the Spalart-Allmaras turbulence model, and the
experiments show that the agreement is very good. For very complex transonic
conditions (Fig. 4(b)), a weak improvement of the Magnus force prediction is
obtained using ZDES approach.

Fig. 4 Magnus validation results for yawing and spinning projectile,


Mach = 3 and p*= 0.0218 (a), Mach = 0.91 and = 2 (b)

Prediction of the Magnus Effect of Finned Projectiles in Supersonic


Conditions
For finned projectile, the steady flow characteristic is lost, an URANS time
discretization scheme, based on grid movement and second-order Gears
formulation was developed [27] (see also Fig. 2). The behavior of mean
coefficients with angle of attack and spin is represented in Fig. 5. In this case,
URANS computations using the simple Baldwin-Lomax turbulence model were
achieved. Linearity with incidence is quite obvious for the normal force CN,
whereas non-linearity of Magnus force Cy occurs for over 2 degrees. The
picture on the bottom right exhibits a linear evolution of the Magnus force over
the full experimental range, whereas the picture on the bottom left shows that
the normal force is almost independent of the spin. Agreement between
computations and experiments is quite good.

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Fig. 5 CN and CY evolutions with angle of attach and non dimensional spin rate,
Mach 4.3, p*= 0 and 0.041, Pi = 7.7 Bar, Ti = 295 K, = 4.22

CONCLUSION
RANS/LES hybrid predictions are better than RANS predictions, but with an
increase of, at least, one order of magnitude in computational time. This
approach will be, certainly, the near future for more efficient numerical
aerodynamic predictionsFor yawing and spinning projectiles, the Magnus effect
is:
- Well predicted by RANS methods for supersonic flow conditions,
- Better described by RANS/LES hybrid approaches in transonic and subsonic
regimes. However, improvements are needed before reaching the goal of
predicting accurately the Magnus characteristics.
For finned projectiles or missiles, in the supersonic regime, URANS methods
(using Baldwin-Lomax or Spalart-Allmaras turbulence models), give very
satisfactory results.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The authors would like to thank Marc Pchier, Franck Simon, Rmy Thpot,
Sbastien Deck and Patrick Champigny from the Office National dtudes et de
Recherches Arospatiales for their strong contributions in this work.
The authors would like also to thank Serge Secco and Ornelle Donneaud, from
the French MOD UMTER Program Division, for the support of a part of this
work.

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