A numerical method for predicting hypersonic flowfields

Robert W. Maccormack, Graham V. Candler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The flow about a body traveling at hypersonic speed is energetic enough to cause the atmospheric gases to chemically react and reach states in thermal nonequilibrium. The prediction of hypersonic flowfields requires a numerical method capable of solving the conservation equations of fluid flow, the chemical rate equations for specie formation and dissociation, and the transfer of energy relations between translational and vibrational temperature states. Because the number of equations to be solved is large, the numerical method should also be as efficient as possible. The proposed paper presents a fully implicit method that fully couples the solution of the fluid flow equations with the gas physics and chemistry relations. The method flux splits the inviscid flow terms, central differences the viscous terms, preserves element conservation in the strong chemistry source terms, and solves the resulting block matrix equation by Gauss Seidel line relaxation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-129
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - May 18 1988

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors wish to acknowledge the financial support for this work from SDIO/IST managed by the Army Research Office under contract No. DAA103-86-K-0139, the Department of the Air Force under contract No. F33615-86-C-3015, and NASA under Hypersonic Training and Research Grant No. NAGW 965. We are also grateful for the use of computer facilities at NASA Ames Research Center and the helpful advice from Dr. Chul Park of NASA Ames and Dr. J. Shang of Wright Patterson Air force Base.


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