Modelling Control Thruster Plume Flow and Impingement

  • H. Legge
  • R.-D. Boettcher


To accurately predict the effects of control thruster plume impingement on spacecraft structures, an existing analytical plume flow model was extended to deliver all relevant flow quantities like Mach number, mean free path etc., and to include free molecular plume flow by defining a freezing surface. The impingement is treated by simple local models for continuum, transition and free molecular flow-surface interaction. A comparison of computed impingement torques to inflight data from the Orbital Test Satellite shows reasonable agreement, supporting the basic results of the investigation, but stressing the importance of knowing the gas dynamical quantities of the nozzle expansion flow as exactly as possible, especially the adiabatic exponent.


Nozzle Exit Nozzle Flow Free Molecular Flow Freezing Surface Plume Impingement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Legge
    • 1
  • R.-D. Boettcher
    • 1
  1. 1.DFVLR Institute for Experimental Fluid MechanicsGöttingenFederal Republik of Germany

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