Evaluation of computational models for electron transpiration cooling

Nicholas S. Campbell, Kyle Hanquist, Andrew Morin, Jason Meyers, Iain Boyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Recent developments in the world of hypersonic flight have brought increased attention to the thermal response of materials exposed to high-enthalpy gases. One promising concept is electron transpiration cooling (ETC) that provides the prospect of a passive heat removal mechanism, rivaling and possibly outperforming that of radiative cooling. In this work, non-equilibrium CFD simulations are performed to evaluate the possible roles of this cooling mode under high-enthalpy conditions obtainable in plasma torch ground-test facilities capable of long flow times. The work focuses on the test case of argon gas being heated to achieve enthalpies equivalent to post-shock conditions experienced by a vehicle flying through the atmosphere at hypersonic speed. Simulations are performed at a range of conditions and are used to calibrate direct comparisons between torch operating conditions and resulting flow properties. These comparisons highlight important modeling considerations for simulating long-duration, hot chamber tests. Simulation results correspond well with the experimental measurements of gas temperature, material surface temperature as well as measured current generated in the test article. Theoretical methods taking into consideration space charge limitations are presented and applied to provide design suggestions to boost the ETC effect in future experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number243
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Gas– surface interaction
  • Hypersonic flight
  • Non-equilibrium gas dynamics
  • Plasma and ionized flows

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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