Computation of Flowfields for Hypersonic Flight at High Altitudes
Numerical simulation of flows in the transitional regime between continuum and free-molecular flow is becoming increasingly important. Transportation between space orbits of different altitudes as well as atmospheric reentry demands numerical simulation methods in the transitional regime of the Earth’s upper atmosphere. With the commitment to build a permanently manned station in space, it is clear that there will be an increased interest1 in near-Earth missions. Some of the space vehicles under consideration will perform maneuvers at sufficiently high altitudes to make rarefaction effects important. Of particular interest are the aeroassisted orbital transfer vehicles (AOTV), high lift-to-drag vehicles that perform maneuvers such as synergetic plane changes (utilizing both aerodynamic and propulsive forces), and transatmospheric vehicles (TAV) that experience hypervelocity flight up to orbital speeds at the outer fringes of the atmosphere.
KeywordsAIAA Paper Shock Layer Direct Simulation Monte Carlo Hypersonic Flow Nose Radius
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