Laminar-to-turbulent transitions over an ablating reentry capsule

Kimiya Komurasaki, Graham V. Candler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The aerodynamic mechanism of early transition phenomena over an ablating reentry capsule has been analytically examined. A two-equation turbulence model (- model) was coupled with Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes equations. Low-Reynolds-number effects on the solid wall were taken into account by modifying the Chien's correction. As a result, transition occurred at the lower Reynolds number with higher ablation rate. The predicted transition-point Reynolds number was 3×104 at the surface-mass-injection rate of 100 g/sm2. The principal mechanism of this early transition is thought as follows; the viscosity damping effects are reduced and re-laminarization is prevented in the downstream of the capsule surface, due to the turbulence on the surface and due to the pushing out of near-surface stream-lines from the surface by successive mass injection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)745-751
Number of pages7
JournalActa Astronautica
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 2000


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