REENTRY

Period of Performance: 01/01/1984 - 12/31/1984

$50K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Vra, Inc.
PO BOX 50
Blacksburg, VA 24063
Principal Investigator

Abstract

IN RECENT YEARS THE PROJECTED DESIGN OF ADVANCED ORBITAL TRANSFER VEHICLES HAS BEEN EVOLVING VERY RAPIDLY. THESE VEHICLES ARE TO OPERATE AND DECELERATE IN THE LOW-DENSITY (HIGH-ALTITUDE) FLIGHT REGIMES WHERE THE FLOWFIELD IS MORE APPROPRIATELY THAT OF FINITE-RATE CHEMICALLY REACTING AIR. APART FROM THESE, THE FLOWFIELD AROUND THE SPACE SHUTTLE ORBITER ALSO SHOWS SIGNIFICANT NONEQUILIBRIUM EFFECTS. FURTHERMORE, IT HAS BEEN RECENTLY RECOGNIZED THAT THE SURFACE CATALYSIS PLAYS AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN THE SURFACE HEAT-TRANSFER OF SPACECRAFTS UNDER NONEQUILIBIRUM FLOW CONDITIONS. FOR THESE REASONS (AND MORE) SIGNIFICANT STUDIES ARE UNDERWAY TO BETTER UNDERSTAND AND SIMULATE THE NONEQUILIBRIUM FLOWS AROUND HYPERSONIC REENTRY VEHICLES. PHASE I OF THE EFFORT WILL DEVELOP AN AXISYMMETRIC PARABOLIZED NAVIER-STOKES CODE. THIS WILL PROVIDE AN ACCURATE AND EFFICIENT SCHEME TO AID NOT ONLY THE VARIOUS DEVELOPMENTAL STUDIES, BUT TO ALSO PROVIDE A TOOL FOR THE NUMEROUS AEROTHERMODYNAMIC DESIGN AND ANALYSIS STUDIES. PHASE II OF THIS EFFORT WILL EXTEND THIS SCHEME TO INCLUDE VIBRATIONAL AND RADIATION NONEQUILIBRIUM EFFECTS. THIS WILL ALSO INCLUDE CLOSE COLLABORATION WITH NASA AND RELATED RESEARCHERS TO DEVELOP BETTER AND MORE ACCURATE AEROTHERMOCHEMICAL MODELS.