Numerical Investigation of Film Coefficient Approximation for Chemically Reacting Boundary-Layer Flows

Justin Cooper, Giovanni Salazar, Alexandre Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Aerothermal analysis of spacecraft planetary entry is heavily dependent on heritage engineering models. The film coefficient heat transfer model examined in this paper estimates the convective heating to the vehicle for a laminar, dissociated, chemically reacting boundary layer for an Earth atmosphere. This model requires information about the vehicle and flowfield for a given trajectory point and estimates a proportional relationship between enthalpy potential and convective heat flux. In practice it is the aerothermal engineer who must decide which assumptions are appropriate for his/her application. This work looks at numerous CFD simulations for an arbitrary, axisymmetric flight vehicle to analyze the relative importance of both the mass and energy constraints imposed at the wall boundary, as well as the effect of various diffusion models. Within the subset of tested energy boundary conditions, it is found that the most desirable energy boundary condition is the radiative equilibrium boundary condition, which permits conservative estimates of convective heat flux, but also generates flowfield-dependent spatial thermal distributions along the surface. Other key findings are presented in an effort to make the film coefficient engineering model readily available to design engineers across industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)644-655
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Thermophysics and Heat Transfer
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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