Modeling of reentry space vehicle aerodynamics with control thruster plume — free-stream interaction


Changes in aerodynamic characteristics of a space vehicle model due to interaction of the control thruster plume with the incoming flow are numerically studied. Parameters of the plume escaping from the thruster nozzle and flight data (velocity and altitude) are taken to be the parameters of the Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle. Simulations are performed by the Direct Simulation Monte Carlo Method. A multizone approach is used for combined modeling of the dense plume and the rarefied incoming flow. If the control thruster plume is fairly close to the space vehicle surface, flow interference is possible, which may alter the force and moment characteristics. In the problem considered in this paper, the pitching moment changes approximately by 10 % at altitudes below 120 km due to this interference.

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Correspondence to A. V. Kashkovsky.

Additional information

This work was financially supported by the Government of the Russian Federation (Agreement No. 14.Z50.31.0019) for supporting research supervised by leading scientists, by the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Basic Research Program No. 25), and by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (Grant No. 14-01-31099).

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Kashkovsky, A.V., Vashchenkov, P.V. & Banyai, T. Modeling of reentry space vehicle aerodynamics with control thruster plume — free-stream interaction. Thermophys. Aeromech. 21, 719–728 (2014).

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Key words

  • DSMC method
  • rarefied gas dynamics
  • interference
  • exhaustion from the nozzle