Hypersonic Aerothermochemistry: Progress in Computational Chemistry, Experimental Validation, and Sensitivity Analysis
Hypersonic vehicles are being actively developed for space exploration, national security, and commercial missions. A key aspect in the design of these vehicles is the molecular energy exchange and chemistry of air that occurs due to the high temperatures generated by hypersonic flight. Over the last decade, there has been significant efforts to use first principles computational chemistry to predict rates of energy transfer and chemical reactions of air species. Assessment of these new rates has been hampered by a lack of validation quality experimental measurements. In this talk, we review the progress made in hypersonic aerothermochemistry, illustrate the shortcomings of existing experimental data sets for validation, and use sensitivity analyses to pinpoint the highest priority aerothermochemistry processes to help inform new experiments.