No Access Submitted: 19 May 2015 Accepted: 14 January 2016 Published Online: 04 February 2016
Physics of Fluids 28, 027103 (2016);
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  • M. Pfeiffer
  • P. Nizenkov
  • A. Mirza
  • S. Fasoulas
Relaxation processes of polyatomic molecules are modeled and implemented in an in-house Direct Simulation Monte Carlo code in order to enable the simulation of atmospheric entry maneuvers at Mars and Saturn’s Titan. The description of rotational and vibrational relaxation processes is derived from basic quantum-mechanics using a rigid rotator and a simple harmonic oscillator, respectively. Strategies regarding the vibrational relaxation process are investigated, where good agreement for the relaxation time according to the Landau-Teller expression is found for both methods, the established prohibiting double relaxation method and the new proposed multi-mode relaxation. Differences and applications areas of these two methods are discussed. Consequently, two numerical methods used for sampling of energy values from multi-dimensional distribution functions are compared. The proposed random-walk Metropolis algorithm enables the efficient treatment of multiple vibrational modes within a time step with reasonable computational effort. The implemented model is verified and validated by means of simple reservoir simulations and the comparison to experimental measurements of a hypersonic, carbon-dioxide flow around a flat-faced cylinder.
The authors gratefully acknowledge the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) for funding this research within the projects “Kinetic Algorithms for the Maxwell-Boltzmann System and the Simulation of Magnetospheric Propulsion Systems (No. FA 280/1-1)” and “Bidirectional Coupling of the Direct Simulation Monte Carlo Method with a Particle-based Continuum Method (No. FA 280/3-1)”. Moreover, P. Nizenkov wishes to thank the Landesgraduiertenförderung Baden-Württemberg for the financial support.
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