Numerical simulations of a nonequilibrium argon plasma in a shock-tube experimentA code developed for the numerical modeling of nonequilibrium radiative plasmas is applied to the simulation of the propagation of strong ionizing shock waves in argon gas. The simulations attempt to reproduce a series of shock-tube experiments which will be used to validate the numerical models and procedures. The ability to perform unsteady simulations makes it possible to observe some fluctuations in the shock propagation, coupled to the kinetic processes. A coupling mechanism by pressure waves, reminiscent of oscillation mechanisms observed in detonation waves, is described. The effect of upper atomic levels is also briefly discussed.
Cambier, Jean-Luc (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field; Eloret Institute, Palo Alto, CA, United States)