Disturbance analysis from plume impingement by using the parallel DSMC code (PDSC)

Kun Chang Tseng*, Lee Her Hu, Tien Chuan Kuo, Yen Sen Chen, Un Ming Lee, Jong-Shinn Wu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


When satellites flight in a near-vacuum space, the directions of emissive propellant from the thrusters of reaction control subsystem might flow back and impinge the satellite body. When those highly toxic and erosive propellants, like hydrazine (N2H4) and Fluorine (F2), will contaminate the components of the satellite. Corrosion, unexpected torque and heat effect might degrade the mission life of satellite and astronauts. Therefore, analysis of plume impingement and contamination is critical in designing the thruster position, mass flow rate and direction of the attitude determination control subsystem thrusters. Unfortunately, it is very expensive and dangerous to study these phenomena by experiment. Thus, to develop an appropriate numerical method is a good approach for studies. A general-purpose parallel three-dimensional DSMC code (PDSC), which is developed by Professor Wu's group, is used in the current study. Several essential functions, including mesh refinement, parallization with dynamic load balancing, chemical reaction, vibrational mode and variable time-step etc., are developed to improve the computational efficiency and its accuracy. In the current research, a simulation of the FORMOSAT-3 satellite with simplified configuration is simulated to show the plumes will impinge the edges of the solar array panel and satellite body. The parametric studies on various solar array angles are conducted to study the contamination and disturbance torque effect, which can propose recommendations in the early design phase to prevent the unwanted contingency caused by the plume impingement effects in the mission operation.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationCollection of Technical Papers - 39th AIAA Thermophysics Conference
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc. (AIAA)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)156347901X, 9781563479014
StatePublished - 8 Nov 2007
Event39th AIAA Thermophysics Conference - Miami, FL, United States
Duration: 25 Jun 200728 Jun 2007

Publication series

NameCollection of Technical Papers - 39th AIAA Thermophysics Conference


Conference39th AIAA Thermophysics Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMiami, FL


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