Plasma Sheath Modelling for Computational Aerothermodynamics and Magnetohydrodynamics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To date, plasma sheath effects have not been incorporated into most CFD simulations of magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) or aerothermodynamics due to the high computational costs involved. The accurate modeling of both collisional and collisionless plasma sheaths for hypersonic applications is here presented. This is followed by the outline of recent numerical methods that enable the sheaths to be integrated with large time steps and to be incorporated within CFD codes. For the first time, the electron energy transport in non-equilibrium is here integrated in coupled form with the plasma sheath within a MHD process. Some example test problems are then presented including MHD in a scramjet combustor and electron transpiration cooling in a hypersonic flow. Such show that the plasma sheath effects can be added within CFD simulations with little loss in computational efficiency. The inclusion of plasma sheath models is seen to be critical in predicting accurately such problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-348
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Computational Fluid Dynamics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2021


  • Plasma sheath
  • electron transpiration cooling
  • hypersonic flight
  • magnetohydrodynamics
  • re-entry flows

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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