Comparison of Transport Properties Models for Numerical Simulations of Mars Entry Vehicles

Research paper by Jiaao Hao, Jingying Wang, Zhenxun Gao, Chongwen Jiang, Chunhian Lee

Indexed on: 15 Oct '16Published on: 13 Oct '16Published in: Acta Astronautica


Effects of two different models for transport properties, including the approximate model and the collision integral model, on hypersonic flow simulations of Mars entry vehicles are numerically investigated. A least square fitting is firstly performed using the best-available data of collision integrals for Martian atmosphere species within the temperature range of 300−20,000 K. Then, the performance of these two transport properties models are compared for an equilibrium Martian atmosphere gas mixture at 10 kPa and temperatures ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 K. Finally, four flight conditions chosen from the trajectory of the Mars Pathfinder entry vehicle are numerically simulated. It is indicated that the approximate model is capable of accurately providing the distributions of species mass fractions and temperatures in the flowfield. Both models give similar translational-rotational and vibrational heat fluxes. However, the chemical diffusion heat fluxes predicted by the approximate model are significantly larger than the results computed by the collision integral model, particularly in the vicinity of the forebody stagnation point, whose maximum relative error of 15% for the super-catalytic case. The diffusion model employed in the approximate model is responsible to the discrepancy. In addition, the wake structure is largely unaffected by the transport properties models.

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