Two-Electrode vs Electrode-less MHD-Enhanced Aerocapture

Bernard Parent, Felipe Martin Rodriguez Fuentes, Spencer Lafoley

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


This paper presents a novel magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) system for planetary entry aerocapture. The system is advantaged over previous approaches by having the following two characteristics: (i) it can be deployed locally to one or various flow regions, and (ii) it does not make use of electrodes. All previous MHDsystems for planetary entry were either electrodeless global systems or twoelectrodes local systems. The novel proposed MHD system consists of using two magnets to establish a current loop leading to Faraday EMF. The first magnet is positioned such that the magnetic field faces outwards of the shell, and the second such that the magnetic field faces inward the shell. Preliminary results show that the novel electrodeless MHD system, when located on the surface of an Earth entry capsule at a Mach number of 35, can generate forces several times higher than a two-electrode system while using the same magnetic field strength. The study is done entirely numerically using CFDWARP, a CFD code that uses advanced numerical methods that enable the simulation of the full coupling between the aerodynamics, the magnetohydrodynamics, and the non-neutral plasma sheaths. The physical model includes an 11-species finite-rate chemical solver including real gas effects, the drift-diffusion model for all charged species, along with the electric field potential equation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA SciTech Forum and Exposition, 2024
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624107115
StatePublished - 2024
EventAIAA SciTech Forum and Exposition, 2024 - Orlando, United States
Duration: Jan 8 2024Jan 12 2024

Publication series

NameAIAA SciTech Forum and Exposition, 2024


ConferenceAIAA SciTech Forum and Exposition, 2024
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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