Purdue University Graduate School
211204_Purdue_Thesis_Fall_2021_Adhikari.pdf (11.6 MB)
Download file


Download (11.6 MB)
posted on 2021-12-20, 14:28 authored by Nirajan AdhikariNirajan Adhikari
High speed flow problems of practical interest require a solution of nonequilibrium aerothermochemistry to accurately predict important flow phenomena including surface heat transfer and stresses. As a majority of these flow problems are in the continuum regime, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is a useful tool for flow modeling. This work presents the development of a nonequilibrium add-on solver to ANSYS Fluent utilizing user-defined-functions to model salient aspects of nonequilibrium flow in air. The developed solver was verified for several benchmark nonequilibrium flow problems and compared with the available experimental data and other nonequilibrium flow simulations.

The rate of dissociation behind a strong shock in thermochemical nonequilibrium depends on the vibrational excitation of molecules. The Macheret-Fridman (MF) classical impulsive model provides analytical expressions for nonequilibrium dissociation rates. The original form of the model was limited to the dissociation of homonuclear molecules. In this work, a general form of the MF model has been derived and present macroscopic rates applicable for modeling dissociation in CFD. Additionally, some improvements to the prediction of mean energy removed in dissociation in the MF-CFD model has been proposed based on the comparisons with available QCT data. In general, the results from the MF-CFD model upon investigating numerous nonequilibrium flows are promising and the model shows a possibility of becoming the standard tool for investigating nonequilibrium flows in CFD.

The aerodynamic deorbit experiment (ADE) CubeSat has dragsail to accompany accelerated deorbiting of a CubeSat post-mission. A good estimation of the aerothermal load on a reentry CubeSat is paramount to ensure a predictable reentry. This study investigates the aerothermal load on an ADE CubeSat using the direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) methods and Navier-Stokes-Fourier continuum based methods with slip boundary conditions. The aerothermal load on an ADE CubeSat at 90 km altitude from the DSMC and continuum methods were consistent with each other. The continuum breakdown at a higher altitude of 95 km resulted in a strong disagreement between the continuum and DSMC solutions. Overall, the continuum methods could offer a considerable computational cost saving to the DSMC methods in predicting aerothermal load on an ADE CubeSat at low altitudes.


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Aeronautics and Astronautics

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Alina A. Alexeenko

Additional Committee Member 2

Sergey Macheret

Additional Committee Member 3

Jonathan Poggie

Additional Committee Member 4

Carlo Scalo