Orbiter aerodynamic acceleration flight measurements in the rarefied flow transition regime

Robert Blanchard, Richard Wilmoth, Gerald LeBeau
1996 14th Applied Aerodynamics Conference   unpublished
Acceleration data taken from the Orbital Acceleration Research Experiment ( O m ) during reentry on STS-62 have been analyzed using calibration factors taken on orbit. This is the first Orbiter mission which collected OARE data during the Orbiter reentry phase. The data examined include the flight regime from orbital altitudes down to about 90 km which covers the free-molecule-flow regime and the upper altitude fringes of the rarefied-flow transition into the hypersonic continuum. Ancillary
more » ... ht data on Orbiter position, orientation, velocity, and rotation rates have been used in models to transform the measured accelerations to the Orbiter center-of-gravity, from which aerodynamic accelerations along the Orbiter body axes have been calculated. Residual offsets introduced in the measurements by unmodeled Orbiter forces are identified and discussed. Direct comparisons are made between the OARE flight data and an independent micro-gravity accelerometer experiment, the High Resolution Accelerometer Package (HiRAP), which also obtained flight data on reentry during the mission down to about 95 km. The resulting OARE aerodynamic acceleration measurements along the Orbiter's body axis, aid the normal to axial acceleration ratio in the free-molecule-flow and transition-flow regimes are presented and compared with numerical simulations from three direct simulation Monte Carlo codes.
doi:10.2514/6.1996-2467 fatcat:bncbxpbqy5djpcmkach55ckqn4