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Reentry heating analysis of space shuttle with comparison of flight data

Abstract

Surface heating rates and surface temperatures for a space shuttle reentry profile were calculated for two wing cross sections and one fuselage cross section. Heating rates and temperatures at 12 locations on the wing and 6 locations on the fuselage are presented. The heating on the lower wing was most severe, with peak temperatures reaching values of 1240 C for turbulent flow and 900 C for laminar flow. For the fuselage, the most severe heating occured on the lower glove surface where peak temperatures of 910 C and 700 C were calculated for turbulent flow and laminar flow, respectively. Aluminum structural temperatures were calculated using a finite difference thermal analyzer computer program, and the predicted temperatures are compared to measured flight data. Skin temperatures measured on the lower surface of the wing and bay 1 of the upper surface of the wing agreed best with temperatures calculated assuming laminar flow. The measured temperatures at bays two and four on the upper surface of the wing were in quite good agreement with the temperatures calculated assuming separated flow. The measured temperatures on the lower forward spar cap of bay four were in good agreement with values predicted assuming laminar flow

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