Study of a Two-Dimensional Shape Change of Blunt-Body Geometries at Hypersonic Conditions Using Fully-Coupled Simulation

Aleksander L. Zibitsker, Joel A. McQuaid, Christoph Brehm, Alexandre Martin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The majority of atmospheric entry vehicles use heat shields made of thermal protection materials that ablate during the re-entry phase as a result of thermo-chemical processes caused by aerothermodynamic heating. Ablation of the protection material results in material consumption at the surface and surface topology changes of the heat shield. In this study, a fully-coupled interaction between the fluid and material response solvers is developed to study the behavior of low-temperature ablative material in hypersonic flow environment. Three blunt-nose geometries in two-dimensions are simulated in the current study: capsule, isoq and flat-face cylinder. The capsule geometry case is used to validate the results against experimental data from VKI and the two other geometries are used to study long duration shape change especially in the curved region around the shoulder. The flow environment is simulated with the near body solver within the CHAMPS-Cartesian grid solver and the material response is modeled within the KATS-MR solver. Camphor material is used as a low-temperature ablator due to simplicity in modeling the surface chemistry and similarity of basic ablation processes to sublimation of high-temperature materials. In addition, for camphor material there is recent available experimental data for validation of the coupled simulation. In this work, the two-dimensional coupled simulation is first validated against Phoebus capsule experiment showing excellent agreement. Then, the developed simulation is applied to study the shape change of two blunt-nose geometries: iso-q and flat-face cylinder. In addition, uncoupled material response simulations are performed with the imposed boundary conditions and thermochemistry extracted directly from the coupled simulation. The recession results are compared to the coupled solution showing consistent over-prediction of recession in the stagnation region and strong under-prediction of the shape deformation in the shoulder region.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAIAA AVIATION 2022 Forum
StatePublished - 2022
EventAIAA AVIATION 2022 Forum - Chicago, United States
Duration: Jun 27 2022Jul 1 2022

Publication series

NameAIAA AVIATION 2022 Forum


ConferenceAIAA AVIATION 2022 Forum
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to recognize and show appreciation for the financial support provided by NASA Kentucky EPSCoR RA Award no. 80NSSC19M0144 (E. Stern technical monitor) and NASA EPSCoR R3 Award no. 80NSSC19M0084 (M. Barnhardt technical monitor). The authors would also like to thank the University of Kentucky Center for Computational Sciences and Information Technology Services Research Computing for their support and use of the Lipscomb Compute Cluster and associated research computing resources. NASA STRI ACCESS 80NSSC21K1117.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA., All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering


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