Arc-jet Validation of Material Response Solvers

Grants and Contracts Details


Modeling entry of spacecrafts is a challenging because of the vast number of dierent physical phenomena that occur during the process. However, in order to size thermal protection systems, engineers rely on high delity solvers to provide accurate predictions of both the thermochemical environment surrounding the heat shield, and its material response. Before using the aerothermodynamics and thermal response solvers for design, it is necessary to guarantee that the models are implemented correctly through veri- cation, and that the implemented models correspond to the real physical phenomena through validation. The work proposes an extensive verication and validation of two solvers: KATS, a computational uid dynamics and material response solver developed at the University of Kentucky, and Icarus, a new material response solver developed at NASA Ames. The verication will encompass the development of an automated regression testing tool to both aid code developers in the debugging process, as well as verify the correct implementation of the numerical models as these are developed. This will be performed through comparison to analytical solutions, when these are known, and to solutions using method of manufactured solutions (MMS) when they are not. The validation process will be performed through comparison to relevant ablation experiments, namely arc-jet tests. The rst test-set will be from the experiments run at NASA Ames by Milos and Chen, on PICA. This comparison consists of material recession measurements and temperature proles from thermocouple measurements at dierent locations on Iso-Q samples. The second test-set is obtained from the recent experiments performed at the NASA HYMETS facility on FiberForm, where material recession measurements were taken. The successful completion of the project will not only provide the extensive verica- tion and validation of two separate codes but will also establish a work- ow streamline between two separate codes, where KATS can serve as a model testing tool for Icarus, whose main function will be for design.
Effective start/end date1/1/177/31/18


  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration


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