Ab initio based model for high temperature nitrogen rovibrational excitation and dissociation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

10 Scopus citations


We present preliminary DMS calculations to investigate vibrational excitation and dissociation in molecular nitrogen, including both N3 and N4 processes and under strong nonequilibrium conditions. A preliminary constitutive model is also described and parameterized with the available DMS results. The analysis of vibrational energy distributions obtained with DMS shows that high vibrational energy states are immediately populated in the initial stages of the dissociation process, due to the very energetic nature of the molecular collisions. Throughout the excitation process, distributions remain highly nonequilibrium and generally have a strong bimodal character. Quite interestingly, the pre-collision distributions of molecules undergoing dissociation rapidly converge toward the QSS distribution, even in the early portion of the excitation. This may suggest that, once high-v states become sufficiently populated, the dissociation process is effectively initiated. Hence, we introduce the idea of a critical vibrational incubation temperature Tv,c to accounts for the excitation of the high energy tails of the system distribution f(v). If Tv < Tv,c, little to no dissociation occurs no matter what the translational temperature is. Once high-v states are sufficiently populated (Tv ≃ Tv,c), then dissociation proceeds at a rate controlled by a combination of Tt and Tv (and, in principle, Tr). The prelinimary model for nitrogen vibrational excitation and dissociation is based on the analysis of the DMS results. In particular, the model is tested against the results obtained for the highly, but stringent, nonequilibrium case with Tt = 30, 000 K and Tr(0) = Tv(0) = 3, 000 K. As such, the results presented here are only intended to be demonstrative. As other DMS data become available, we plan to further refine the model and make it reliably applicable over the relevant temperature range for hypersonic applications. The new model reproduces particularly well the composition history, including the slower initial dissociation (incubation period). Furthermore, it also describes the QSS state, characterized by Tv < Tt.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication54th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624103933
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event54th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, 2016 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Jan 4 2016Jan 8 2016

Publication series

Name54th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting


Other54th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research is supported by Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) under Grant No. FA9550-10-1-0563. The views and conclusions contained herein are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies or endorsements, either expressed or implied, of the AFOSR or the U.S. Government

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA. All rights reserved.


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