Rendiconti Lincei

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 201–210 | Cite as

Molecular physics and kinetics of high-temperature planetary atmospheres

  • Mario CapitelliEmail author
  • Domenico Bruno
  • Gianpiero Colonna
  • Giuliano D’Ammando
  • Fabrizio Esposito
  • Annarita Laricchiuta
  • Lucia Daniela Pietanza


The space exploration is nowadays assisted by realistic modeling of re-entry conditions of space vehicles in planetary atmospheres, for the design of thermal protection systems. The detailed kinetic modeling relies on the accurate description of elementary process dynamics, including the role of the excitation of the internal degrees of freedom of chemical species. Efforts in the construction of a complete and consistent dynamical information are presented, focusing on hydrogen plasmas relevant to the Jupiter atmosphere. Examples of numerical experiments are given, emphasizing the relevance of the adopted state-to-state approach in reproducing the onset of non-equilibrium internal distributions governing the plasma system evolution.


Elementary processes Planetary atmosphere State-to-state kinetics Thermodynamics and transport 



The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n. 242311.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mario Capitelli
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Domenico Bruno
    • 2
  • Gianpiero Colonna
    • 2
  • Giuliano D’Ammando
    • 1
  • Fabrizio Esposito
    • 2
  • Annarita Laricchiuta
    • 2
  • Lucia Daniela Pietanza
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of BariBariItaly
  2. 2.IMIP CNRBariItaly

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