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Advances in Aircraft and Spacecraft Science
  Volume 8, Number 2, March 2021, pages 169-181
open access

Computer analysis of rarefied aerodynamics around a winged space-plane for Mars entry
Gennaro Zuppardi and Giuseppe Mongelluzzo

    The forthcoming use of Orion for Mars landing stimulated Zuppardi to compute global aerodynamic coefficients in rarefied flow along an entry path. Zuppardi and Mongelluzzo also studied Aerodynamics of a blunt cylinder, provided with flapped fins, as a possible alternative to Orion for Mars Entry, Descent and Landing. Computer tests were carried out, in the altitude interval 60-100 km, by three codes: i) home made code computing the entry trajectory, ii) Direct Simulation Monte Carlo code (DS2V), solving 2D/axisymmetric flow field and computing local quantities, iii) Direct Simulation Monte Carlo code (DS3V) solving 3D flow field and computing global aerodynamic coefficients. The comparison of the aerodynamic behaviour of the two capsules in axisymmetric flow field verified that heat flux and wall temperature for the finned-cylinder are higher than those of Orion. The DS3V results verified that Orion is better than the finned-cylinder to produce an aerodynamic force for slowing down the capsule. On the contrary, the results indicated that the finned-cylinder is better in terms of attitude control capability. The purpose of the present paper is to compare Aerodynamics of: Orion, finned-cylinder, a hypothetical, winged space-plane in high altitude Mars entry path. Computations were carried out by means of the two above mentioned DSMC codes, along both orbit and direct entry trajectories. While the global aerodynamic coefficients of the space-plane are comparable with those of the finned cylinder, the aerodynamic and thermal stresses (or pressure, temperature and heat flux) at the nose stagnation point are higher for the space-plane. Therefore, the finned-cylinder seems to be a valid alternative to Orion.
Key Words
    Mars space-plane; Orion capsule; finned-cylinder capsule; entry trajectory; direct simulation Monte Carlo method
Gennaro Zuppardi: Department of Industrial Engineering – Aerospace Division,University of Naples "Federico II", Piazzale Tecchio 80, 80125 Naples, Italy

Giuseppe Mongelluzzo: 1.) Department of Industrial Engineering – Aerospace Division,University of Naples "Federico II", Piazzale Tecchio 80, 80125 Naples, Italy
2.) INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte, Salita Moiariello, 16, 80131, Naples, Italy

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