Modeling of stardust reentry ablation flows in the near-continuum flight regime

Jiaqiang Zhong, Takashi Ozawa, Deborah A. Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ablation process of the Stardust thermal protection material is designed to reduce aerodynamic heating during reentry for extreme conditions. The coupling of ablation species with the flow-field is investigated in this work using the direct simulation Monte Carlo method for transitional to near-continuum flows. To model surface thermal and chemical ablation processes, a variable surface temperature wall is obtained assuming a radiative heat flux balanced by connective heat flux. It is found that chemical ablation due to the reaction between thermal protection system carbon materials and gaseous oxygen and nitrogen atoms is dominant compared with thermal ablation. As the altitude decreases, the forebody surface temperature increases, the ablation process becomes more intensive, and the influence of ionization reactions on the flowfleld becomes more important due to denser freestream conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2568-2581
Number of pages14
JournalAIAA journal
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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