Effectiveness of thermionic emission for cooling hypersonic vehicle surfaces

Kyle M. Hanquist, Iain D. Boyd

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


Electron transpiration cooling (ETC) is a proposed thermal management approach for the leading edges of hypersonic vehicles that utilizes thermionic emission to emit electrons to carry heat away from the surface. This paper presents a modeling approach for implementing ETC in a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) framework and assesses the modeling approach using a set of previously completed experiments. The modeling approach includes coupling the fluid modeling to a material response code to model in-depth surface conduction and accounts for space-charge-limited emission. The effectiveness of ETC for multiple test cases are investigated including a case with a sharp leading edge, case with in-depth material conduction, and a blunt body (i.e. capsule). For each of these test cases, ETC affects the surface properties, most notably the surface temperature, suggesting that ETC occurs for bodies in thermally intense, ionized flows, no matter the shape of the leading edge. An equation is provided to estimate the heat transfer induced by ETC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624105241
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
EventAIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, 2018 - Kissimmee, United States
Duration: Jan 8 2018Jan 12 2018

Publication series

NameAIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, 2018


OtherAIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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