Hybrid particle-continuum simulations of Low Knudsen number hypersonic flows

Thomas E. Schwartzentruber, Leonardo C. Scalabrin, Iain D. Boyd

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

5 Scopus citations


A modular particle-continuum (MPC) numerical method is used to simulate steady-state hypersonic flows which exhibit local regions of non-equilibrium embedded within mainly continuum flow fields. The MPC method loosely couples direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) and Navier-Stokes (NS) methods which operate in different regions, use different mesh densities, and are updated using different sized timesteps. The MPC method is applied to both a hollow cylinder flare and planetary probe geometry and results are compared with full NS and DSMC simulations as well as with experimental data. MPC simulations are demonstrated to reproduce experimental and full DSMC simulation results for surface and flow field properties including velocity slip, temperature jump, thermal non-equilibrium, heating rates, and pressure distributions with high accuracy. The hollow cylinder flare problem provides an insightful test case for the MPC method, however, it is found un-suitable for practical hybrid simulation. Orders of magnitude variation in mean-free-path for the planetary probe problem make it an excellent candidate for hybrid simulation. For this case, MPC results are obtained approximately 12.5 times faster than a full DSMC simulation while requiring 20% of the memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCollection of Technical Papers - 39th AIAA Thermophysics Conference
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc.
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)156347901X, 9781563479014
StatePublished - 2007
Event39th AIAA Thermophysics Conference - Miami, FL, United States
Duration: Jun 25 2007Jun 28 2007

Publication series

NameCollection of Technical Papers - 39th AIAA Thermophysics Conference


Other39th AIAA Thermophysics Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMiami, FL


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