Plasma-Radiofrequency Interactions Around Atmospheric Re-Entry Vehicles: Modelling and Arc-Jet Simulation
R. Savino*, D. Paterna, M. De Stefano Fum, M. D’Elia
Identifiers and Pagination:Year: 2010
First Page: 76
Last Page: 85
Publisher Id: TOAEJ-3-76
Article History:Received Date: 06/05/2010
Revision Received Date: 25/06/2010
Acceptance Date: 04/08/2010
Electronic publication date: 10/11/2010
Collection year: 2010
open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
An aero-thermo-chemical model is developed to simulate the flowfield, including ionization, around atmospheric re-entry configurations, and its interactions with radio-frequency communication signals (e.g. GPS). The model is successfully validated against literature in-flight measurements of the electron number density, and then applied to the re-entry of recently proposed concepts of slender configurations. The advantages of using sharp and slender geometries for re-entry applications, with respect to radio communication problems, are analyzed and discussed.
In addition, an experimental test-bed in an arc-jet plasma wind-tunnel has been setup to reproduce on ground the plasmaradiofrequency interaction. The capability to duplicate on-ground the ionization levels encountered during re-entry has been successfully demonstrated. A numerical model of an Argon plasma jet in chemical and thermal non-equilibrium has also been developed, for numerical rebuilding of the experiments. Both electron number densities and electron temperatures have been successfully correlated, demonstrating the ability of arc-jet facilities, integrated with proper numerical tools, to correctly deal with problems of communication attenuation/black-out.