An experimental study of CO2 flows subjected to expanding conditions relevant to Mars entry is presented. A condition with a nominal velocity of 4.0 km∕s was generated in the X2 expansion tunnel. Midwavelength infrared emission measurements of the 4.3 and 2.7 μm bands were made over both a two-dimensional wedge model and for the freestream. Consistent results in the characterization of the freestream were obtained from pressure and spectroscopic measurements. The rotational and vibrational temperatures estimated in the wedge flow using the 2.7 μm band were consistent with those estimated from the 4.3 μm band. The difference between the CO2 translational–rotational temperature and the CO2 vibrational temperature was shown to be small in the freestream and expanding flow over the wedge model: less than 10%. Using vibrational relaxation rates tuned for postshock conditions, computational fluid dynamics simulations significantly overestimated the thermal nonequilibrium in the expanding flow, but not in the postshock (compressive) flow. This observation is consistent with past results for N2 and CO, as well as CO2 at lower temperatures.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aerospace Engineering