Left – ESA-CNES-ARIANESPACE – Encapsulation in the fairing of Soyuz Fregat – 2016
Right – NASA’s Magnetospheric MultiScale – Brieda et.al. 2010
The estimation of contamination can rely on data collected during past projects, but the level of uncertainty in the environment is quite high from the encapsulation of the spacecraft in the fairing until launch. Perhaps the best approach to address this uncertainty is to use a dedicated software that is able to analyze and model the particle environment. Such software can make use of a wide range of computational approaches from fluid dynamics such as Navier-Stokes and Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC). Moreover, in order to make adjustments and improvements to the baseline design, enhanced decision making approaches such as optimization, sensitivity analysis and uncertainty quantification can be adopted.
In the end, having computational capabilities that help quantify these effects are very important. Although dedicated tools require a considerable amount of work, they are able to help protect valuable equipment and assess conditions and requirements for guidance to the teams behind launch and spacecraft safety. Several community codes can be considered to be used as a baseline capability on which customized technology can be built. Some well known software can be listed as; OpenFoam, Sparta, Dakota, Gmsh and SU2.
In the following blogs, we will share more topics related to the technical challenges and state-of-the-art solutions faced in the aerospace and energy sectors.
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