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Super-Orbital Re-entry in Australia: Laboratory Measurement, Simulation and Flight Observation

  • David Buttsworth
  • Peter Jacobs
  • Daniel Potter
  • Neil Mudford
  • Mary D’Souza
  • Troy Eichmann
  • Peter Jenniskens
  • Tim McIntyre
  • Michael Jokic
  • Carolyn Jacobs
  • Ben Upcroft
  • Razmi Khan
  • Hadas Porat
  • Andrew Neely
  • Stefan Löhle
Conference paper

Introduction

There are large uncertainties in the aerothermodynamic modelling of super-orbital re-entry which impact the design of spacecraft thermal protection systems (TPS). Aspects of the thermal environment of super-orbital re-entry flows can be simulated in the laboratory using arc- and plasma jet facilities and these devices are regularly used for TPS certification work [5]. Another laboratory device which is capable of simulating certain critical features of both the aero and thermal environment of super-orbital re-entry is the expansion tube, and three such facilities have been operating at the University of Queensland in recent years [10]. Despite some success, wind tunnel tests do not achieve full simulation, however, a virtually complete physical simulation of particular re-entry conditions can be obtained from dedicated flight testing, and the Apollo-era FIRE II flight experiment [2] is the premier example which still forms an important benchmark for modern simulations. Dedicated super-orbital flight testing is generally considered too expensive today, and there is a reluctance to incorporate substantial instrumentation for aerothermal diagnostics into existing missions since it may compromise primary mission objectives. An alternative approach to on-board flight measurements, with demonstrated success particularly in the ‘Stardust’ sample return mission, is remote observation of spectral emissions from the capsule and shock layer [8].

JAXA’s ‘Hayabusa’ sample return capsule provides a recent super-orbital reentry example through which we illustrate contributions in three areas: (1) physical simulation of super-orbital re-entry conditions in the laboratory; (2) computational simulation of such flows; and (3) remote acquisition of optical emissions from a super-orbital re-entry event.

Keywords

Shock Layer Epoxy Coating Expansion Tunnel Expansion Tube Thermal Protection System 
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-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Buttsworth
    • 1
  • Peter Jacobs
    • 2
  • Daniel Potter
    • 1
  • Neil Mudford
    • 3
  • Mary D’Souza
    • 1
  • Troy Eichmann
    • 1
  • Peter Jenniskens
    • 4
  • Tim McIntyre
    • 1
  • Michael Jokic
    • 1
  • Carolyn Jacobs
    • 2
  • Ben Upcroft
    • 5
  • Razmi Khan
    • 1
  • Hadas Porat
    • 1
  • Andrew Neely
    • 1
  • Stefan Löhle
    • 6
  1. 1.University of Southern QueenslandToowoombaAustralia
  2. 2.The University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.University of New South Wales at ADFACanberraAustralia
  4. 4.SETI InstituteUSA
  5. 5.Queensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  6. 6.IRSUniversity of StuttgartGermany

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