Basics of Plume Impingement Analysis for Small Chemical and Cold Gas Thrusters
DEUTSCHES ZENTRUM FUR LUFT-UND RAUMFAHRT (DLR) GOETTINGEN (GERMANY) INSTITUT FUER AERODYNAMIK UND STROEMUNGSTECHNIK
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Thrusters, plumes and plume impingement effects therefore continue to be studied to understand and predict their complete impact on the spacecraft. Experimental investigations are indispensable to validate and improve codes and to reveal actual thruster plume and impingement characteristics. On the other hand the application of validated numerical methods and tools can support the design and efficiency of experimental studies and improve the analysis of their results a hand in hand development of experimental and theoretical work. And last not least some experience is necessary to detect potential problems and to assess them quantitatively. A survey on plume flow and impingement in space technology has been given by one of the authors G.D. in 1991 Dettleff, 1991. In that article, emphasis was put on the depiction of chemical and cold gas plume model development and on force and heat transfer determination, whereas contamination and electric propulsion were omitted. In this article we will touch on the last twenty years with some numerical methods, experimental facilities and results. We will concentrate on plumes and impingement effects related to small chemical and cold gas thrusters as they are used for operation of satellites and space probes. To get somewhat familiar with the subject we describe some plume and impingement characteristics in the next section. After this rather qualitative depiction, we introduce in section 3 numerical tools and experimental facilities necessary to calculate and to measure plumes and impingement effects. In section 4 we present some aspects of plume analysis. We will show the value of exploratory experiments and the possible discovery of effects that were not predicted afore. Section 5 is devoted to examples of impingement situations and their investigation. Presented are also investigations on how to shield surfaces at risk.
- Fluid Mechanics
- Combustion and Ignition