EXTENSION OF A KINETIC APPROACH TO CHEMICAL REACTIONS TO ELECTRONIC ENERGY LEVELS AND REACTIONS INVOLVING CHARGED SPECIES WITH APPLICATION TO DSMC SIMULATIONS
Liechty, Derek Shane
Lewis, Mark J.
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The ability to compute rarefied, ionized hypersonic flows is becoming more important as missions such as Earth reentry, landing high mass payloads on Mars, and the exploration of the outer planets and their satellites are being considered. Recently introduced molecular-level chemistry models that predict equilibrium and nonequilibrium reaction rates using only kinetic theory and fundamental molecular properties are extended in the current work to include electronic energy level transitions and reactions involving charged particles. These extensions are shown to agree favorably with reported transition and reaction rates from the literature for nearequilibrium conditions. Also, the extensions are applied to the second flight of the Project FIRE flight experiment at 1634 seconds with a Knudsen number of 0.001 at an altitude of 76.4 km. In order to accomplish this, NASA’s direct simulation Monte Carlo code DAC was rewritten to include the ability to simulate charge-neutral ionized flows, take advantage of the recently introduced chemistry model, and to include the extensions presented in this work. The 1634 second data point was chosen for comparisons to be made in order to include a CFD solution. The Knudsen number at this point in time is such that the DSMC simulations are still tractable and the CFD computations are at the edge of what is considered valid because, although near-transitional, the flow is still considered to be continuum. It is shown that the inclusion of electronic energy levels in the DSMC simulation is necessary for flows of this nature and is required for comparison to the CFD solution. The flow field solutions are also post-processed by the nonequilibrium radiation code HARA to compute the radiative portion of the heating and is then compared to the total heating measured in flight.