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Numerical Study of High-Temperature Nonequilibrium Flow around Reentry Vehicle Coupled with Thermal Radiation

Jingying Wang, Fangzhou Han*, Li Lei, Chunhian Lee

School of Energy and Power Engineering, Shandong University, Jinan, 250061, China

* Corresponding Author: Fangzhou Han. Email:

(This article belongs to this Special Issue: High-Speed and High-Temperature Flows)

Fluid Dynamics & Materials Processing 2020, 16(3), 601-613.


Accurate aerodynamic heating prediction is of great significance to current manned space flight and deep space exploration missions. The temperature in the shock layer surrounding the reentry vehicle can reach up to 10,000 K and result in remarkable thermochemical nonequilibrium, as well as considerable radiative heat transfer. In general, high-temperature flow simulations coupled with thermal radiation require appropriate numerical schemes and physical models. In this paper, the equations governing hypersonic nonequilibrium flow, based on a three-temperature model combined with a thermal radiation solving approach, are used to investigate the radiation effects in the reentry shock layer. An axisymmetric spherical case shows that coupling the flow-field simulation with radiation has a scarce influence on the convective heating prediction, but has some impact on the radiative heating calculation. In particular, for the Apollo capsule reentry, both the absorption coefficient and incident radiation are remarkable inside the shock layer. The radiative heating maximum reaches nearly 38% of that of the convective heating making a considerable contribution to the total aerodynamic heating. These results indicate that in the hypersonic regime, in order to account for the total heating, it is necessary to simulate the high-temperature thermochemical nonequilibrium flows coupled with thermal radiation.


Cite This Article

Wang, J., Han, F., Lei, L., Lee, C. (2020). Numerical Study of High-Temperature Nonequilibrium Flow around Reentry Vehicle Coupled with Thermal Radiation. FDMP-Fluid Dynamics & Materials Processing, 16(3), 601–613.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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