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A review of gas-surface interaction models for orbital aerodynamics applications

Livadiotti, S; Crisp, NH; Roberts, PCE; Worrall, SD; Oiko, VTA; Edmondson, S; Haigh, SJ; ... Outlaw, R; + view all (2020) A review of gas-surface interaction models for orbital aerodynamics applications. Progress in Aerospace Sciences , 119 , Article 100675. 10.1016/j.paerosci.2020.100675. Green open access

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Abstract

Renewed interest in Very Low Earth Orbits (VLEO) - i.e. altitudes below 450 km - has led to an increased demand for accurate environment characterisation and aerodynamic force prediction. While the former requires knowledge of the mechanisms that drive density variations in the thermosphere, the latter also depends on the interactions between the gas-particles in the residual atmosphere and the surfaces exposed to the flow. The determination of the aerodynamic coefficients is hindered by the numerous uncertainties that characterise the physical processes occurring at the exposed surfaces. Several models have been produced over the last 60 years with the intent of combining accuracy with relatively simple implementations. In this paper the most popular models have been selected and reviewed using as discriminating factors relevance with regards to orbital aerodynamics applications and theoretical agreement with gas-beam experimental data. More sophisticated models were neglected, since their increased accuracy is generally accompanied by a substantial increase in computation times which is likely to be unsuitable for most space engineering applications. For the sake of clarity, a distinction was introduced between physical and scattering kernel theory based gas-surface interaction models. The physical model category comprises the Hard Cube model, the Soft Cube model and the Washboard model, while the scattering kernel family consists of the Maxwell model, the Nocilla-Hurlbut-Sherman model and the Cercignani-Lampis-Lord model. Limits and assets of each model have been discussed with regards to the context of this paper. Wherever possible, comments have been provided to help the reader to identify possible future challenges for gas-surface interaction science with regards to orbital aerodynamic applications.

Type: Article
Title: A review of gas-surface interaction models for orbital aerodynamics applications
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.paerosci.2020.100675
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.paerosci.2020.100675
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Aerospace, Engineering, Gas-surface interaction, Very low earth orbit, Orbital aerodynamics, MOLECULAR-BEAM SCATTERING, SIMPLE CLASSICAL-MODEL, RARE-GASES, 111 PLANE, THEORETICAL INVESTIGATIONS, INELASTIC-SCATTERING, SPEED DISTRIBUTIONS, DIATOMIC SCATTERING, DIFFERENTIAL DRAG, SOLID-SURFACES
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Space and Climate Physics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10120748
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