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Radiation of nonequilibrium recombining plasma flows

Abstract : One of the main challenges for the upcoming Mars missions is the atmospheric entry phase when the spacecraft enters the Martian atmosphere or the Earth’s atmosphere upon return. The hypersonic velocity of the capsule entering the atmosphere leads to extreme gas heating and results in intense gas radiation. The radiative flux emitted by the plasma in front and around the capsule is the main source of heating, but its prediction suffers from large uncertainties, leading engineers to apply safety margin on the heat shield, thereby decreasing the useful payload of the capsule. These uncertainties are maximal in the afterbody region where the plasma is forced to recombine and can depart from equilibrium. This thesis presents an experimental characterization of recombining non-equilibrium air and nitrogen plasma flows to mimic the chemical kinetic dynamics encountered in the afterbody region. The population distributions of radiating atomic and molecular species of nitrogen are measured, along with the nonequilibrium radiation emitted by these species. Comparisons with predictions from numerical codes are made and large differences are observed even in simple test cases, thus highlighting the limits of current computational fluid dynamics models. These data are intended to serve as a basis to validate the models used in reentry codes.
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  • HAL Id : tel-02454286, version 1


Augustin Tibere-Inglesse. Radiation of nonequilibrium recombining plasma flows. Chemical and Process Engineering. Université Paris-Saclay, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019SACLC077⟩. ⟨tel-02454286⟩



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