Direct simulation Monte Carlo modeling of homogeneous condensation in supersonic plumes

Jiaqiang Zhong, Michael I. Zeifman, Deborah A. Levin, Sergey F. Gimelshein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A particle simulation method to model water condensation process in a supersonic rocket plume is proposed and developed. Classic nucleation theory is used to predict nucleation, condensation, and the evaporation rates for water clusters. Microscopic kinetic models are developed to simulate collision processes between water clusters and monomers, between water clusters and foreign molecules, and evaporation of monomers from water clusters. These models are integrated into the direct simulation Monte Carlo method to simulate an axisymmetric multispecies gas expansion coupled with condensation. The developed computational scheme, first verified by empirical scaling laws of condensation in supersonic microjets, is then applied to predict the spatial distributions of water cluster number density, size, and temperature in a rocket exhaust plume. An empirical equation is used to correct classical nucleation rate, condensation results are compared between the original and corrected nucleation rate, and the impact of the nucleation rate on a flow with condensation is discussed in detail.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1784-1796
Number of pages13
JournalAIAA journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering

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