Hypersonic flow and radiation analysis of the automated transfer vehicle jules verne

Iain D. Boyd, Alexandre Martin, Jonathan E. Wiebenga, Peter Jenniskens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Hypersonic flowfield and radiation analyses are performed before and after flight to study the physical conditions experienced by the automated transfer vehicle Jules Verne during reentry before breakup. Results are compared to those obtained with a miniature Echelle spectrograph operated from an airborne platform, measuring the flux density of atomic line emissions from oxygen and nitrogen, as well as many metals. Molecular emissions fromCNand AlO are also detected. The vehicle lost its solar panels at 86kmand first broke up at 75 km. The main cargo cabin held together until 68 km. Postflight analyses focus on altitudes of 86, 75, and 68 km. A first analysis includes only air species, correctly predicting the observed oxygen and nitrogen atomic line intensities. N+2 band emission is systematically overestimated by at least a factor of 20, indicating a need for revision of the radiation model for this system. A second analysis includes blowing of metals (aluminum, sodium, potassium, and magnesium) from the vehicle surface. The blowing rates are inferred by requiring the computed and measured emissions to match. Magnesium and aluminum originate from ablation of structural elements, while sodium and potassium may have originated as impurities in paint.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-136
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Spacecraft and Rockets
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the European Space Agency through a grant administered by the SETI Institute, as part of the ATV-1 “Jules Verne” Multi-Instrument Aircraft Campaign (MAC). Jason Hatton of ESA/ESTEC acted as the project manager. This work was managed by NASA Ames Research Center, where David Jordan was the NASA project manager. NASA’s DC-8 Airborne Laboratory was deployed by the University of North Dakota/N.S.E.R.C., under contract with NASAWallops Flight Center. We thank David Holman for tracking the Echelle instrument at ATV during the ATV-1 “Jules Verne” MAC mission. Mike Koop provided timing information.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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