Drag coefficient model using the Cercignani-Lampis-Lord gas-surface interaction model

Andrew Walker, Piyush Mehta, Josef Koller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Drag coefficient calculations using the Cercignani-Lampis-Lord quasi-specular gas-surface interaction model have been used to derive modified closed-form solutions for several simple geometries. The key component of the modified closed-form solutions is a relation between the normal energy and normal momentum accommodation coefficients, which is valid within ∼0.5% over the global parameter space. The modified closed-form solutions are made self-consistent by relating the effective energy accommodation to the partial pressure of atomic oxygen through a Langmuir isotherm. The modified closed-form solutions are compared to fitted drag coefficients and drag coefficients computed using two other gas-surface interaction models: diffuse reflection with incomplete accommodation and Maxwell's model. Comparison during solar maximum conditions shows that both the diffuse reflection with incomplete accommodation and Cercignani-Lampis-Lord models agree with fitted drag coefficients within ∼2% below ∼500 km altitude. Further comparison shows that solar minimum drag coefficients are up to ∼24%higher than those at solar maximum based on global ionosphere-thermosphere model atmospheric properties. Drag coefficients computed with atmospheric properties from the Naval Research Laboratory mass spectrometer incoherent scatter extended model and the global ionosphere-thermosphere model agree within ∼2% at solar maximum but disagree by up to ∼11% at solar minimum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1544-1563
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Spacecraft and Rockets
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this work was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy through the Los Alamos National Laboratory/Laboratory Directed Research and Development program as part of the Integrated Modeling of Perturbations in Atmospheres for Conjunction Tracking project. Computations were performed with Los Alamos National Laboratory high-performance computing systems.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2013 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. All rights reserved.


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