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Collisional-radiative and macroscopic models for the thermochemical relaxation of non-equilibrium hypersonic flows

Abstract : The thermo-chemical relaxation of nitrogen hypersonic flows behind strong shocks and in nozzle expansions is investigated with 1D flow simulations and detailed vibrational kinetics. This work aims at deriving from detailed vibrational models accurate reduced models easy to implement in multidimensional reentry flow codes. First, nonequilibrium couplings between vibrational excitation, dissociation and recombination reactions are considered. Vibrational kinetics is described using accurate vibrational state-to-state rate constant databases of the literature completed with the forced harmonic oscillator model. The key role of multiquanta vibration-translation processes on the relaxation of the vibrational distribution function and the dissociation/recombination processes is put forward behind shocks and in nozzles. The vibrational distributions, which deviate strongly from equilibrium for nozzle expansions, are driven by vibration-translation processes and dissociation/recombination processes. A macroscopic model using groups of vibrational levels is developed to derive consistently the chemical and vibrational energy source terms from the vibrational state-to-state database.This model successfully reproduces the thermal, chemical and vibrational distribution function dynamics predicted by the state-to-state model with one group of levels behind a shock wave, and with three groups of levels in nozzle expansions. In a second step, the detailed vibrational model is extended to ionized nitrogen flows, including in particular a detailed modeling of the resonant electronvibration processes. Behind shocks, these processes control the rate of ionization by feeding energy to the electrons, up until the time when the elastic electron-ion exchanges takes over. It is shown that the widely used assumption of equilibrium between the electron and vibration temperatures predicts a too fast relaxation behind shock waves. In nozzle expansions, it is shown that for low electron concentration, the electron temperature is driven by electronvibration processes. Moreover, it is found that electrons are strongly coupled to low vibrational levels, and that more levels are coupled when the electron temperature increases. Coupling of the flow field with radiation is performed using the tangent slab approximation, and it is shown that the population of a metastable and two higher electronic levels are strongly impacted. Finally, the macroscopic model is extended to ionized nitrogen flows and is successfully applied on shock waves with one group of levels and with three groups of levels in nozzle expansions. In particular, the proposed macroscopic model represents more accurately the electron-vibration coupling than the widely used Landau-Teller model.
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Aurélien Guy. Collisional-radiative and macroscopic models for the thermochemical relaxation of non-equilibrium hypersonic flows. Other. Ecole Centrale Paris, 2013. English. ⟨NNT : 2013ECAP0073⟩. ⟨tel-00978518⟩

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