Boltzmann rovibrational collisional coarse-grained model for internal energy excitation and dissociation in hypersonic flows

A. Munafò, M. Panesi, T. E. Magin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A Boltzmann rovibrational collisional coarse-grained model is proposed to reduce a detailed kinetic mechanism database developed at NASA Ames Research Center for internal energy transfer and dissociation in N2-N interactions. The coarse-grained model is constructed by lumping the rovibrational energy levels of the N2 molecule into energy bins. The population of the levels within each bin is assumed to follow a Boltzmann distribution at the local translational temperature. Excitation and dissociation rate coefficients for the energy bins are obtained by averaging the elementary rate coefficients. The energy bins are treated as separate species, thus allowing for non-Boltzmann distributions of their populations. The proposed coarse-grained model is applied to the study of nonequilibrium flows behind normal shock waves and within converging-diverging nozzles. In both cases, the flow is assumed inviscid and steady. Computational results are compared with those obtained by direct solution of the master equation for the rovibrational collisional model and a more conventional multitemperature model. It is found that the proposed coarse-grained model is able to accurately resolve the nonequilibrium dynamics of internal energy excitation and dissociation-recombination processes with only 20 energy bins. Furthermore, the proposed coarse-grained model provides a superior description of the nonequilibrium phenomena occurring in shock heated and nozzle flows when compared with the conventional multitemperature models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number023001
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 25 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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