Particle methods for simulating atomic radiation in hypersonic reentry flows

T. Ozawa, A. Wang, D. A. Levin, M. Modest

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


With a fast reentry speed, the Stardust vehicle generates a strong shock region ahead of its blunt body with a temperature above 60,000 K. These extreme Mach number flows are sufficiently energetic to initiate gas ionization processes and thermal and chemical ablation processes. The nonequilibrium gaseous radiation from the shock layer is so strong that it affects the flowfield macroparameter distributions. In this work, we present the first loosely coupled direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) simulations with the particle-based photon Monte Carlo (p-PMC) method to simulate high-Mach number reentry flows in the near-continuum flow regime. To efficiently capture the highly nonequilibrium effects, emission and absorption cross section databases using the Nonequilibrium Air Radiation (NEQAIR) were generated, and atomic nitrogen and oxygen radiative transport was calculated by the p-PMC method. The radiation energy change calculated by the p-PMC method has been coupled in the DSMC calculations, and the atomic radiation was found to modify the flow field and heat flux at the wall.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)748-753
Number of pages6
JournalAIP Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes
Event26th International Symposium on Rarefied Gas Dynamics, RGD26 - Kyoto, Japan
Duration: Jul 20 2008Jul 25 2008


  • DSMC
  • Hypersonic
  • PMC
  • Reentry
  • Stardust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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