Numerical modeling of a wing leading-edge thermal regimes for a reusable space vehicle

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Throughout the history of human exploration of outer space, work is underway to reduce the cost of bringing cargo into space. One of the technically feasible solutions to achieve this is the use of smallsized reusable aerospace vehicles. As the new thermal protection materials are developed, they are employed for the construction of the reusable aerospace vehicles (RSV). In this paper, the assessment is given of the possibility of making RSV wing leading edge from an Al2O3 fiber based heat-resistant porous ceramic. The main advantages of using such material are its relatively low values of thermal conductivity and density, which makes it possible to improve weight characteristics of the RSV. The material of the support structure is heat-resistant carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP). Due to the porous nature of such thermal protection system (TPS), it is necessary to consider the effect of air pressure on the thermal conductivity of the material. Therefore, a computational mathematical model is proposed that allows one to take into account this dependence of thermal conductivity on temperature and pressure for the wing edge porous TPS of an aerospace vehicle, during its re-entry in the atmosphere. Based on the temperature field inside the leading edge, the minimum thickness of the thermal protection coating was determined so that the support structure temperature stays within its maximum permissible operating range. It is shown that the Al2O3 heat-resistant porous ceramic can provide the required thermal protection, so that the maximum temperature of the composite support structure does not exceed 250 °C on the entire re-entry flight path.

About the authors

Ivan S Bodnya

Bauman Moscow State Technical University (National research university of technology)

Author for correspondence.

master student at Bauman Moscow State Technical University in the Mechanical engineering department SM-13 “Space-Rocket Composite Designs”. Research interests: heat transfer, thermal regimes of space vehicles

5/1, 2-nd Baumanskaya str., Moscow, 105005, Russian Federation

Valery P Timoshenko

Bauman Moscow State Technical University (National research university of technology)


professor at Bauman Moscow State Technical University in the Mechanical engineering department SM-13 “Space-Rocket Composite Designs”. Research interests: heat transfer, thermal protection of space vehicles, space vehicles tests.

5/1, 2-nd Baumanskaya str., Moscow, 105005, Russian Federation


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Copyright (c) 2018 Bodnya I.S., Timoshenko V.P.

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