Analysis of plasma formation during hypersonic flight in the earth atmosphere

Analysis of plasma formation during hypersonic flight in the earth atmosphere

Salvatore Esposito, Domenic D’ Ambrosio

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Abstract. In this study we investigate the formation of plasma in hypersonic flight and its impact on radio communications and radar tracking. The transfer of kinetic energy from the vehicle to the surrounding gas in the hypersonic regime leads to the formation of plasma, which can cause interference with electromagnetic waves. By conducting a numerical simulation campaign using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), we are determining the critical Mach number and altitude conditions that lead to plasma formation. The plasma generated at the nose of the vehicle and its subsequent convection along the body and in the wake are the main subjects of our investigation. The simulations include physical models that account for chemical, vibrational and electron-electron energy non-equilibria, using a two-temperature approach. The results indicate the Mach numbers and altitudes at which plasma formation can significantly affect the propagation of electromagnetic waves.

Hypersonic Aerodynamics, Plasma, Non-Equilibrium, Thermo-Chemistry

Published online 11/1/2023, 5 pages
Copyright © 2023 by the author(s)
Published under license by Materials Research Forum LLC., Millersville PA, USA

Citation: Salvatore Esposito, Domenic D’ Ambrosio, Analysis of plasma formation during hypersonic flight in the earth atmosphere, Materials Research Proceedings, Vol. 37, pp 179-183, 2023


The article was published as article 39 of the book Aeronautics and Astronautics

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