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Published October 2010 | Published
Journal Article Open

Experimental and Numerical Investigation of Hypervelocity Carbon Dioxide Flow over Blunt Bodies


This paper represents ongoing efforts to study high-enthalpy carbon dioxide flows in anticipation of the upcoming Mars Science Laboratory and future missions. The work is motivated by observed anomalies between experimental and numerical studies in hypervelocity impulse facilities. In this study, experiments are conducted in the hypervelocity expansion tube that, by virtue of its flow acceleration process, exhibits minimal freestream dissociation in comparison with reflected shock tunnels, simplifying comparison with simulations. Shock shapes of the laboratory aeroshell at angles of attack of 0, 11, and 16 deg and spherical geometries are in very good agreement with simulations incorporating detailed thermochemical modeling. Laboratory shock shapes at a 0 deg of attack are also in good agreement with data from the LENS X expansion tunnel facility, confirming results are facility-independent for the same type of flow acceleration. The shock standoff distance is sensitive to the thermochemical state and is used as an experimental measurable for comparison with simulations and two different theoretical models. For low-density small-scale experiments, it is seen that models based upon assumptions of large binary scaling values do not match the experimental and numerical results. In an effort to address surface chemistry issues arising in high-enthalpy groundtest experiments, spherical stagnation point and aeroshell heat transfer distributions are also compared with the simulation. Heat transfer distributions over the aeroshell at the three angles of attack are in reasonable agreement with simulations, and the data fall within the noncatalytic and supercatalytic solutions.

Additional Information

© 2010 by University of Illinois. Published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc., with permission. Received 15 February 2010; revision received 6 June 2010; accepted for publication 8 June 2010. For thermocouple implementation and design advice, the authors thank Hans Hornung, Simon Sanderson, Jean-Paul Davis, Bahram Valiferdowski, Ivett Leyva, Eric Marineau, and Adam Rasheed. For coordination with the Calspan University of Buffalo Research Center and the expansion tube gas dynamic discussion, the authors would like to thank Aaron Dufrene for his valuable input.

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