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Publication Date

Spring 2015

Degree Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Aerospace Engineering


Periklis Papadopoulos


Heating, Hypersonic, Radiative, Reentry

Subject Areas

Aerospace engineering


This thesis attempts to estimate stagnation point radiative heat flux for hypervelocity reentry vehicles. To begin, a shock shape is assumed. Using the inverse method developed by Maslen, the body that supports such a shock is calculated. High temperature equilibrium theory that accounts for chemical reactions in air was incorporated into Maslen’s Method. Using the calculated air temperature and density behind the bow-shock, radiative heat flux is then calculated at the stagnation point. When a non-grey transparent gas was assumed in the shock-layer, a radiative heat flux at the stagnation point on the vehicle with a nose radius equal to that of the Apollo Command Module was calculated to be 2.9 〖×10〗^4 BTU⁄(〖ft〗^2 s), using a free-stream velocity of 36,000 feet per second at an altitude of 170,000 feet. This was approximately 18% less than the flux calculated for an infinite slab of comparable gas conditions and shock-layer thickness. When an emitting and absorbing shock-layer were modeled with radiative cooling, agreement with rigorous analysis from previously published data were in agreement on the order of a 1.2 to 13.7% difference.