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RPFM Overview

The Rocket Plume Flowfield Module (RPFM), software package applies the highest fidelity computational methods and multi-physics modeling to plume flow phenomenology. Accurate predictions of missile plumes flowfields using RPFM can provide anyone with the capability to better understand and develop systems for missile launch detection, typing, tracking, and test planning. In addition, flowfields generated by RPFM can be handed off to signature tools to produce infrared (IR) and radar profiles or generate IR scenes for aim-point selection algorithms critical in hardware-in-the-loop testing.


RPFM utilizes the structured CRAFT CFD flow solver developed over countless man-hours of plume flow modeling research. An Intelligent Automated Architecture (IAA) is coupled with an intuitive user interface, resulting in the end user needing little to no computational fluid dynamics (CFD) knowledge to obtain high-fidelity CFD flow solutions for realistic missile trajectories. Simulations can be performed from sea-level to 300 km in altitude with continuum enhancement models applied over 100 km. The continuum near-field solution can also be interfaced to non-continuum flow solvers, such as the Direct Simulation Monte Carlo based CRUSE DSMC sovler, using the Automatic Efficient Generalized Interfaces Surface (AEGIS) Toolkit.

Keys to Efficient Predictability

Minimal User Input

Setup flowfields in minutes with a body geometry, rocket engine/motor conditions, and flight trajectory profile

Easy to Use Comprehensive Interface

UI will execute, monitor, and manage a full missile flight trajectory that allows the user to effortlessly modify ongoing simulations based on live updates

Accuracy Through Independent Validation

Verified against a wide range of foreign and domestic missile system flight data sets over the last 15 years at AFRL, MDA, Army, NASIC, MSIC, and many other government and industry partners

Robust and Repeatable Quality Assurance

A quality assurance (QA) matrix performs over 325 missile plume signatures prior to every release to improve the user experience for altitudes ranging from sea level to 300 km

3rd Party Tool Coupling

Solution post-processing tools are provided to easily convert into formats necessary for coupling with partner software toolkits, including:


Radiation transport for infrared, ultra-violet (UV), or visible spectral radiation analysis


IR scene generation for hardware-in-the-loop (HWIL) applications


Non-continuum flowfield hand-off surfaces


Radar cross section analysis of hardbody coupled with over-dense plume


Radar attenuation and radar cross section signatures

VTK Visualization

Internal visualization of flowfields using VTK visualization toolkit

Note: RPFM is only available for distribution within the U.S.

For more information or to try out RPFM:

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