Electric Probe Data Analysis for Trailblazer II - Third Flight
AVCO SYSTEMS DIV WILMINGTON MA
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The ion current measured by flush mounted electric probes is compared with that predicted from flow field calculations for the Trailblazer 2 over an altitude range from 220 Kft to 270 Kft. Various approaches, all of which assumed the sheath to be collision-dominated were used to infer ion currents from the flow field predictions. Except for current traces associated with those probes located on the nose cap at 270 Kft, the experimental results were bound from above by the total convective current in the boundary layer and from below by a quasi-one-dimensional current or a diffusion current. The inclusion of convective effects helps provide agreement between theory and experiment for some of the higher altitude data. But over the altitude range considered, it is evident that no simple theory in which it is assumed that either convection, diffusion or a thermal flux respectively is the dominant mechanism for transporting ions into the sheath, produces results consistent with the data. The ion transport phenomena are too complex to be described by such simple theories.
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