A study of aerothermal loads

The simulation of supersonic flow over aircraft is usually focused on shockwave drag and aerothermal loads estimation. For hypersonic vehicles, where aerodynamic heating becomes more prominent, the accurate prediction of the latter is essential in order to design an efficient Thermal Protection System (TPS). If the analyzed geometry represents real prototype of the vehicle (rather than some simplified model) one can expect a highly complex flow structure that includes multiple shockwaves, expansion fans and contact discontinuities.

Under these conditions the interaction between the shocks and boundary layer flow may lead to localized heat fluxes that are several times higher than the ones at the stagnation point. This article gives an account of the FloEFD simulations, where such effects are known to occur.

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