Radiation and Ablation in Rapidly Expanding Flows (2015–2018)
The aim of the proposal is to record the spectra of radiation from a region of rapidly expanding flow
representative of the passage of the shock layer on a re-entry capsule from the windward to the leeward
surfaces. The significance of this work is that it addresses a critical area of spacecraft where the
uncertainties of our design techniques are of the order of 300% in terms of surface heat transfer, and current vehicles have to use large safety factors to ensure survivability. The outcomes from the project will be a data
base of radiative parameters which will enable accurate models of the flow to be developed, which will
facilitate the design of advanced spacecraft with greater safety and reliability, and with lower structural mass.