Nonequilibrium plasma flow properties in arc-heated wind tunnels

Yusuke Takahashi, Takashi Abe, Hiroki Takayanagi, Masahito Mizuno, Hisashi Kihara, Ken Ichi Abe

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Turbulent plasma flows in arc heaters such as JAXA 750 kW, NASA 20 MW and Kyushu University 20 kW facilities were investigated and the distributions of flow-field properties were successfully obtained. For this purpose, an integrated analysis model to simulate various-scale arc-heated flows with high accuracy was developed. The turbulent flow field was described by the Navier-Stokes equations with a multitemperature model, which was tightly coupled with electric-field and radiation-field calculations. An accurate and low-cost radiation model and a low-Reynolds number two-equation turbulence model were introduced into the flow-field simulation. Arc discharge in constrictor section and expansion processes in nozzle section play key roles for forming an arc-heated flow. Thus, it is important to correctly model those phenomena for predicting the high-enthalpy flow properties accurately. To validate the present numerical model, the computed results were compared with the corresponding experimental data for the mass-averaged enthalpy, temperatures and number density. Through the comparison of the predicted results with detailed experimental data obtained by spectroscopic and laser-induced fluorescence techniques, the present integrated analysis model was validated. In addition, the mechanisms of energy input by discharge and energy loss were discussed with distributions of the temperature and heat flux derived from the arc column. Although it was indicated that more detailed discharge model is possibly required in order to describe arc discharge with higher accuracy, the present flow-field model was found to give generally good agreement for various operating conditions of the facilities.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Event50th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting Including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition - Nashville, TN, United States
Duration: Jan 9 2012Jan 12 2012


Other50th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting Including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNashville, TN

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering


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