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Prediction and Monitoring of Ablation of Thermal Protective Systems Under Atmospheric Reentry Conditions


University of Vermont/NASA Ames Research Center, Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate

This NASA project is aimed at the simulation of the inductively Couple Plasma (ICP) torch developed by Prof. Fletcher at University of Vermont. The ICP torch uniquely reproduces the atmospheric entry conditions of any planet and allows for the testing of thermal protective system (TPS) of space vehicles. To date, the NASA EPSCOR award has enabled the development of multi scale numerical methods that accurately simulate the gas-surface interactions occurring between the plasma jet of the torch and the surface of the TPS and the development of an algorithm to account for the ablation phenomena at the surface of the TPS. Both algorithms have been verified and validated independently and are being coupled in the last phase of this award. The resulting multi-scale, multi-physics flow solver will be used in synergy with the ICP torch experiments to provide access to physics that experimental measurement techniques cannot capture. The flow solver is developed by two PhD students, Max Dougherty (PhD graduate 2015) and Ryan Crocker. A novel method for in-situ health monitoring of TPS using acoustic waves was developed by David Hurley (PhD graduate 2012) and Stephen Pearson (MS graduate 2014) and validated in the ICP. The development of this method will continue toward its implementation in space vehicle. Other complementary efforts include the development uncertainty analysis for our simulations by Andy Reagan (MS graduate, 2014) and the atomistic to continuum methods (Liv Herdman, postdoc). Overview of the synergistic experimental and numerical studies of the performance of thermal protection system materials.

Dr. Yves Dubief, Science PI University of Vermont & State Agricultural College

Nagi Nicolas Mansour, NASA Technical Monitor, Ames Research Center NASA EPSCoR Stimuli 2014-15



EPSCoR Stimuli 2014-15  

NASA Office of Education’s Aerospace Research & Career Development (ARCD) is pleased to release NASA EPSCoR Stimuli, a collection of univers...

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