Turbulent heat transfer during Mars Venus and Earth atmospheric entry (2017–2019)
Designing heat shields for reentry vehicles requires good models for predicting aerodynamic heating. Limitations of conventional wind tunnels prevents the measurement of aerodynamic heating in ground tests in the region of peak heating , adding uncertainty and risk to the design process. UQ's X3 free-piston-driven expansion tunnel is uniquely capable of producing flows at high enough speeds and densities to enable measurement of heating for turbulent boundary layers at the highest speeds encountered during re-entry. Successfully producing turbulent boundary layers at high re-entry speeds in a ground testing facility will enable, for the first time, theoretical and numerical models of heating to be thoroughly tested and further developed.