Strongly coupled computation of material response and nonequilibrium flow for hypersonic ablation

Alexandre Martin, Iain D. Boyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


The steps necessary to achieve the strong coupling between a flowfield solver and a material response solver are presented. This type of coupling is required to accurately capture the complex aerothermodynamic physics occurring during hypersonic atmospheric entries. A blowing boundary condition for the flowfield solver is proposed. This allows the ablating gas calculated by the material response solver to be correctly injected in the boundary layer. A moving mesh algorithm for the flowfield solver that implicitly enforces the geometric conservation law is presented. Using that capability, a mesh movement procedure for surface recession and for accurate shock capturing is proposed. The entire technique is tested using a material response solver with surface ablation and pyrolysis coupled to a hypersonic solver for weakly ionized flows in thermochemical nonequilibrium. Results using the reentry trajectory of the IRV-2 test vehicle are presented, showing that the surface heat fluxes remain accurate as the vehicle geometry and freestream conditions change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-104
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Spacecraft and Rockets
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank the Government of Québec, which, through the Fonds de Recherche sur la Nature et les Technologies, provided a fellowship to A. Martin. Additional funding was provided by NASA SBIR Phase-2 Award NNX10CC53P and NASA EPSCoR RA Award NNX13AN04A. I. D. Boyd also gratefully acknowledges funding for this work through Air Force Office of Scientific Research grant FA-9550-11-1-0309.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2014 by Alexandre Martin and Iain D. Boyd.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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