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Atmospheric Reentry Physics
Gordon Research Conference

Fundamentals of Environment-Materials Interactions, Models and Design Approaches to Meet Emerging Space Needs

Dates

February 3-8, 2013

Location

Four Points Sheraton / Holiday Inn Express
Ventura, CA

Organizers

Chair:
Ioana Cozmuta

Vice Chair:
Louis Walpot

Meeting Description

About the Atmospheric Reentry Physics GRC

The "Atmospheric Reentry Physics" conference will provide a single focal point to allow for the better integration and advancement of a multidisciplinary research community of scientists and engineers, representing government agencies, the private sector, and University systems across the world. The primary objectives of the conference are to foster improved communication across national and discipline boundaries, and to expose the atmospheric reentry community to new ideas and techniques from adjacent disciplines in the hopes of bringing new experimental techniques to bear on the problem as well as brainstorm about challenges faced by expanding the range of application of existing techniques.

The topic area encompasses the physics and chemistry relevant to a spacecraft entry into the Earth or a planetary atmosphere. At hypersonic speeds, strong shock waves form in front of the reentry spacecraft, and the boundary layer is typically highly turbulent, leading to complex compressible fluid dynamics. Such entries are further characterized by dissociation, ionization, and excitation of the gaseous species behind the hypersonic shock wave. At sufficiently high velocity, the hot atmospheric gas begins to radiate due to atomic and molecular excitation. This radiation can become strong enough that it is a significant source of heat transfer to the spacecraft. At the higher entry velocities, the heat generated at the vehicle surface is large enough that no material can withstand it without degrading. Therefore, a spacecraft design typically relies on ablating thermal protection materials, which are intended to pyrolize and char in response to the incident heat. These materials thus efficiently cool the spacecraft via energy absorption of the endothermic breakdown of the polymeric constituents, transpiration cooling as the pyrolysis gases percolate from the interior of the material toward the surface, and re-radiation from the hot char layer that forms on the surface. At the high altitude conditions typical of atmospheric entry, many or all of these processes can be in non-equilibrium, which greatly complicates the required physical models that must be employed in their simulation. Finally, all of these phenomena, including the fluid dynamics, molecular chemistry, radiation emission and transport, and ablative material response, can be coupled, requiring the development and validation of complex multi-physics models. Such models exist today at varying levels of fidelity and validation. A significant impediment to properly validating the models has been the inability to conduct truly flight-like experiments in ground-based laboratories. However, we believe that, under the auspices of the GRC, the current state of the art can be considerably advanced by bringing new ideas and methodologies to bear on the problem. The GRC series will focus on each of these elements (or the coupling between them) in turn, ensuring a dynamic, ever changing research discussion for many years to come.

Key Topics for the 2013 Conference Technical Program

"Fundamentals of Environment-Materials Interactions, Models and Design Approaches to Meet Emerging Space Needs"

  • Session 1 (evening of February 3rd): Random entries in the atmosphere: Leonids, Meteores and Meteorites
    What can we learn from the perspective of reentry technologies and models by observing and understanding these objects?
  • Session 2 (morning of February 4th): Entry Technology Needs
    Are there unexplored options for reentry technologies that could fundamentally alter the way we design missions?
  • Session 3 (evening of February 4th): Innovative Commercialization and Emerging Space Needs
    What reentry technologies, models and tools would make a difference in helping engineers working in the commercial sector?
  • Session 4 (morning of February 5th): Surface reactions for hypersonic conditions
    What combination of modeling tools and experiments is optimal to capture the relevant physics (semi-empirical versus detailed surface kinetics)? What methods (i.e surface functionalization) are most suitable to control heating due to surface reactions (sublimation, oxidation, adsorption, desorption, recombination)?
  • Session 5 (evening of February 5th): Thermal Decomposition and Transport Phenomena in Decomposing Ablators
    What combination of modeling tools and experiments is optimal to capture the relevant physics of the problem? What are the relevant pyrolysis gases and how do they interact with the material during their transport to the surface? Are the microstructural changes of the decomposing material important and how can they be modeled or measured experimentally?
  • Session 6 (morning of February 6th): Physics Based Models for Uncertainty Quantification, Margins and Reliability
    What are the appropriate statstical methods? What does it take to connect design margins with quantified reliability? How does this best roll into a risk model for EDL? Is “test to failure” a better strategy for ground testing?
  • Session 7 (evening of February 6th): Flight Validation, Instrumentation and Health Monitoring Systems
    What is the ultimate value of entry instrumentation? Can it be used for health system monitoring and reduce risks during entry?
  • Session 8 (morning of February 7th): Computational Design and New Materials under Entry Conditions
    What does it take before computer models of material thermal and structural performance are predictive in nature? What nontraditional materials could potentially be used for heat management and protection (TPS)?
  • Session 9 (evening of February 7th): Fundamental Development Needs to Support Entry Technologies
    What shall the top priorities be in terms of current fundamental developments? What should future Gordon Research Conferences on Atmospheric Reentry Physics target?

Participation

The structure of the technical program is designed to encourage three types of participation:

  1. Technical experts, leaders and visionaries in the field who drive technological concepts for the 21st century space exploration, especially in the reentry technology area.
  2. Scientist who have an idea and possess the knowledge, tool or technology (not necessarily specifically developed for Atmospheric Reentry) that could enable a future breakthrough
  3. Engineers from commercial sector who are working in a very specific landscape (constrained environment) and on a schedule and do not have the resources and time to develop new technologies and tools. We are looking at them to share their expertise and wish list.

Goals

We strive to bring together an outstanding and diverse group of scientists and engineers at the forefront of Atmospheric Reentry from the academic, government and commercial sector. We strongly encourage younger scientists and students who feel they have something to say, to step forward and share their vision and thinking.

We think of this conference as a unique opportunity, an open minded environment where engineers at the forefront of Atmospheric Reentry come together with top scientists from critical research areas to discuss, prioritize and strategize in terms of advancements needed to enable development of modern, afordable reentry models and design tools as well as novel technologies to support Emerging Space and Exploration Needs. What should the community do and how to ensure that valuable ideas, fundamental discoveries and concepts and technological advancements are put to good use towards human exploration?

About the Gordon Research Conferences

First and foremost this is not your regular conference or meeting where people show up, present a talk, have 10 minutes of discussion and then leave. The structure and leadership of the conference is key. Sessions have handpicked speakers encouraged to either expose emerging, prioritized needs in their area of expertise or talk about a new concept the would enable a new technology or tool. The guiding principle of a Gordon Conference is the presentation of new, unpublished work and the free, unhampered discussion that follows. This tradition of freely sharing ideas is due in large part to GRC’s "off the record" policy which prohibits photography or tape recording of sessions or the publication of conference proceedings. We want to explore new ideas, new concepts, step forward and talk about things you have always dreamed of doing but seemed unfeasible or out of place or simply it wasn't the right time.

Contributors

Meeting Program

SUNDAY
4:00 pm - 8:00 pmArrival and Check-in
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 7:40 pmWelcome / Introductory Comments by GRC Site Staff
7:40 pm - 9:30 pmRandom Entries in the Atmosphere: Leonids, Meteores and Meteorites
Discussion Leader: Dean Kontinos (NASA Ames Research Center)
7:40 pm - 8:05 pmPeter Jenniskens (SETI Institute)
"Atmospheric Entry Physics of Natural Meteoroids Inferred from Remote Observations"
8:05 pm - 8:10 pmDiscussion
8:10 pm - 8:35 pmDerek Sears (University of Arkansas)
"The fusion crust of meteorites"
8:35 pm - 8:40 pmDiscussion
8:40 pm - 9:05 pmOlga Popova (Institute for Dynamics of Geospheres Russian Academy of Sciences)
"Atmospheric Entry Physics of natural meteors and fireballs: modeling efforts"
9:05 pm - 9:10 pmDiscussion
9:10 pm - 9:30 pmGeneral Discussion
MONDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
8:30 amGroup Photo
9:00 am - 12:30 pmEntry Technology Needs
Discussion Leaders: Ethiraj Venkatapathy (NASA Ames Research Center) and Charles Campbell (NASA Johnson Research Center)
9:00 am - 9:40 amJose Longo (European Space Agency)
"Spectrum of Entry Technologies Required to meet the emerging space needs-a perspective view of the European Space Agency"
9:40 am - 10:00 amDiscussion
10:00 amCoffee Break
10:20 am - 10:50 amKazuhisa Fujita (JAXA)
"Non-ablative Reusable Thermal Protection System for Use in Future Aeroassist Systems"
10:50 am - 11:05 amDiscussion
11:05 am - 11:35 amMichelle Munk (NASA Langley Research Center)
"Aerocapture: Where Are We, Now?"
11:35 am - 11:50 amDiscussion
11:50 am - 12:20 pmMichael J. Grant (Purdue University)
"Intelligent autonomous systems from smart design methodologies"
12:20 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmInnovative Commercialization and Emerging Space Needs
Discussion Leaders: Daniel Rasky (NASA Ames Research Center) and Jean Muylaert (von Karman Institute)
7:30 pm - 7:55 pmAndrew Chambers (Space Exploration Technologies, SpaceX)
"Development of the Dragon Heat Shield and the Benefits of NASA / Industry Partnership"
7:55 pm - 8:10 pmDiscussion
8:10 pm - 8:35 pmKevin Higdon (Sierra Nevada Corporation)
"TPS Material Trade Studies for the Dream Chaser Flight Control Surfaces"
8:35 pm - 8:50 pmDiscussion
8:50 pm - 9:15 pmPeter Gage (Neerimcorp)
"Reliable, cost-effective access from Space"
9:15 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
TUESDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmSurface Reactions for Hypersonic Conditions
Discussion Leaders: Doug Fletcher (University of Vermont) and Guillaume Blanquart (California Institute of Technology)
9:00 am - 9:40 amAart Kleijn (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
"Gas-surface dynamics at hyper thermal energies"
9:40 am - 10:00 amDiscussion
10:00 amCoffee Break
10:20 am - 10:50 amClaudion Bruno (United Technologies Research Center)
"Is Catalytic Recombination too Static? From Geometric Surfaces to Molecular Dynamics"
10:50 am - 11:05 amDiscussion
11:05 am - 11:35 amSriram Goverapet Srinivasan (Penn State)
"What can large-scale reactive atomistic simulations do for you? Development and Impact of the ReaxFF reactive force field method"
11:35 am - 11:50 amDiscussion
11:50 am - 12:20 pmKovalev Roman (Central Research Institute for Machine Building, Russian Space Agency)
"Surface catalysis in CO2 high-enthalpy flows"
12:20 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmThermal Decomposition and Transport Phenomena in Decomposing Ablators
Discussion Leaders: Alexandra Navrotsky (UC Davis) and Mark Ewing (ATK)
7:30 pm - 7:55 pmNagi Mansour (NASA Ames Research Center)
"Ablator Response model validated from fundamental experiment to flight data"
7:55 pm - 8:10 pmDiscussion
8:10 pm - 8:35 pmAlexandre Martin (University of Kentucky)
"Numerical and experimental analysis of the interactions of carbon and chemically reaction pyrolysis gas"
8:35 pm - 8:50 pmDiscussion
8:50 pm - 9:15 pmErica Corral (University of Arizona)
"Oxidation Behavior of Carbon Materials and High Temperature Ceramics in Extreme Environments"
9:15 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
WEDNESDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmPhysics Based Models for Uncertainty Quantification, Margins and Reliability
Discussion Leaders: Bruce Pittman (Lokheed Martin Corporation) and Joseph Olejniczak (NASA Ames Research Center)
9:00 am - 9:40 amLawrence Green (NASA Langley Research Center)
"Addressing the Challenges of Quantifying Thermal Protection System Reliability"
9:40 am - 10:00 amDiscussion
10:00 amCoffee Break
10:20 am - 10:50 amDonovan Mathias (NASA Ames Research Center)
"A bottom-up reliability model for Entry Descent and Landing: merging fundamental physics, uncertainty quantification, instrumentation and testing"
10:50 am - 11:05 amDiscussion
11:05 am - 11:35 amMarco Panesi (University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign)
"A Novel Approach to the Calibration, Validation and Uncertainty Quantification of Physical Models for Hypersonic Flows"
11:35 am - 11:50 amDiscussion
11:50 am - 12:20 pmAjit Mal (University of California, Los Angeles)
"Health Monitoring of Composite Aerospace Structures"
12:20 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:00 pm - 7:30 pmBusiness Meeting
Nominations for the next Vice Chair; Fill out Conference Evaluation Forms; Discuss future Site & Scheduling preferences; Election of the next Vice Chair
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmFlight Validation, Instrumentation and Health Monitoring Systems
Discussion Leaders: Bill Ailor (Aerospace Corporation)
7:30 pm - 7:55 pmAli Gulhan (DLR)
"Recent developments in hypersonic flight instrumentation at DLR"
7:55 pm - 8:10 pmDiscussion
8:10 pm - 8:35 pmJoseph Koo (University of Texas at Austin)
"In-Situ Ablation Recession and Thermal Sensing for Thermal Protection Systems"
8:35 pm - 8:50 pmDiscussion
8:50 pm - 9:15 pmMichael Winter (University of Kentucky)
"Nonequilibrium Instrumentations to assess Atmospheric Entry"
9:15 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
THURSDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmNew Materials under Entry Conditions
Discussion Leaders: Suraj Rawal (Lokheed Martin) and Albert Yee (University of Irvine)
9:00 am - 9:40 amKin Tak Lau (Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
"Polymer-based Nanocomposites at Extreme Environments"
9:40 am - 10:00 amDiscussion
10:00 amCoffee Break
10:30 am - 11:00 amWenhong Fan (SpaceX)
"Chemistry and Material Properties of Several New Classes of Ablators"
11:00 am - 11:10 amDiscussion
11:10 am - 11:40 amJean-Marc Bouilly (Astrium EADS)
"Atmospheric entry development needs: an industrial point of view"
11:40 am - 11:50 amDiscussion
11:50 am - 12:20 pmWilliam A. Goddard (Caltech)
"Applying first principles theory to impossible problems in Materials simulations"
12:20 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmFundamental Development Needs to Support Entry Technologies
Discussion Leader: Anthony Calomino (NASA Langley Research Center) and Debbie Senesky (Stanford University)
7:30 pm - 7:55 pmGraham Candler (University of Minnesotta)
"Simulation of Carbon Ablation Processes with Finite-Rate Models"
7:55 pm - 8:00 pmDiscussion
8:00 pm - 8:25 pmThierry Magin (Von Karman Institute, Belgium)
"Multiphysics models and simulations for reacting and plasma flows"
8:25 pm - 8:30 pmDiscussion
8:30 pm - 8:55 pmIain D. Boyd (University of Michigan)
"Status and Challenges for Fully Coupled Simulation of Flow, Material Response and Surface Chemistry"
8:55 pm - 9:00 pmDiscussion
9:00 pm - 9:30 pmGeneral Discussion
FRIDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 amDeparture
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