Hypersonic rarefied-flow aerodynamics inferred from Shuttle Orbiter acceleration measurementsData obtained from multiple flights of sensitive accelerometers on the Space Shuttle Orbiter during reentry have been used to develop an improved aerodynamic model for the Orbiter normal- and axial-force coefficients in hypersonic rarefied flow. The lack of simultaneous atmospheric density measurements was overcome in part by using the ratio of normal-to-axial acceleration, in which density cancels, as a constraint. Differences between the preflight model and the flight-acceleration-derived model in the continuum regime are attributed primarily to real gas effects. New insights are gained into the variation of the force coefficients in the transition between the continuum regime and free molecule flow.
Blanchard, R. C. (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Hinson, E. W. (ST Systems Corp. Hampton, VA, United States)