USim Validated Against Hypersonic Flow Experiment by George Washington University

Boulder, Colorado - May 16, 2014:

USim is validated against a hypersonic flow experiment by Prof. Michael Keidar of George Washington University. Results of the experiment are reported in "Laboratory Modeling of the Plasma Layer at Hypersonic Flight," Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets.

Prof. Michael Keidar of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at The George Washington University designed an experiment that produces plasma densities similar to that observed for in-flight hypersonic vehicles. Results from this experiment were compared to numerical predictions made by the Tech-X fluid-plasma simulation tool, USim to validate USim flow and ionization capabilities.

The results presented in this paper demonstrate USim capability to simulate magnetically confined high speed plasma colliding with a neutral vapor. Plasma discharge from the arc was magnetically confined to generate a high speed flow over a blunt body to mimic hypersonic re-entry flows. The plasma attaches to the cone, re-evaporates into the domain as a neutral fluid and collides with the oncoming plasma jet. The simulation couples MHD equation system for the plasma transport and Euler equation system for the neutral vapor using collision terms. USim results were validated against experimental data collected by Prof. Michael Keidar's group at the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, The George Washington University.

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