Geometric effects on charring ablator: Modeling the full-scale stardust heat shield

Haoyue Weng, Ümran Düzel, Rui Fu, Alexandre Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The multidimensional geometric effects within the heat shield of the Stardust sample return capsule are studied over its reentry trajectory, using a material response solver. The solver models material charring, conductive heat transfer, surface energy balance, pyrolysis gas transport, and orthotropic material properties in three dimensions. The material response of the heat shield is computed using isotropic and orthotropic models for conductivity and permeability, and both results are compared to the 1-D model. The orthotropic and isotropic models predict dissimilar responses, especially in regard to the surface blowing rates and pyrolysis gas transport. Although both models yield similar results for the surface temperature near the stagnation region, the temperature distribution within the heat shield differs. The 1-D model appears to greatly underestimate the thermal response deeper in the material, especially late in the trajectory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)302-315
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Spacecraft and Rockets
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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