Design of a cubesat mission to investigate high-enthalpy noneqilibrium flow chemistry

Nick Zuiker, James Williams, Zachary R Putnam, Deborah Levin, Alexander Robin Mercantini Ghosh, Alina Alexeenko

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


High-enthalpy nonequilibrium flows are difficult to model accurately and are not reproducible in a laboratory setting with current technology. This study documents the design and development of a CubeSat-class orbital mission to perform in situ measurements of this important flow regime. The objectives of the mission are to better characterize high-enthalpy nonequilibrium flow chemistry present during atmospheric entry while verifying that off-the-shelf science-grade instruments are capable of performing such measurements at relatively low cost. The payload consists of optical spectrometers, pressure sensors, and a heat flux sensor. The payload will collect data on species composition and number as well as the general properties of the flow. Successful execution of this mission will provide a dataset that may be used to validate and improve current computational models of high-enthalpy nonequilibrium flows and validate a low-cost method for characterizing the flow field that may be reflown to assess other flight conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624105241
StatePublished - 2018
EventAIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, 2018 - Kissimmee, United States
Duration: Jan 8 2018Jan 12 2018

Publication series

NameAIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, 2018


OtherAIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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