Due to their small size and tremendous speeds, meteoroids often burn up at high altitudes above 80 km, where the atmosphere is rarefied. Ground radio stations allow us to detect the concentration of electrons in the meteoroid trail, which are produced by hyperthermal collisions of ablated species with the freestream. The interpretation of these data currently relies on phenomenological methods, derived under the assumption of free molecular flow, that poorly accounts for the detailed chemistry, diffusion in the vapour phase, and rarefied gas effects. In this work, we employ the direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) method to analyse the detailed flowfield structure in the surroundings of a 1 mm meteoroid at different conditions, spanning a broad spectrum of Knudsen and Mach numbers, and we extract resulting ionization efficiencies. For this purpose, we couple the DSMC method with a kinetic boundary condition which models evaporation and condensation processes in a silicate material. Transport properties of the ablated vapour are computed following the Chapman-Enskog theory starting from Lennard-Jones potentials. Semi-empirical inelastic cross-sections for heavy- and electron-impact ionization of metals are computed analytically to obtain steric factors. The ionization of sodium is dominant in the production of free electrons, and hyperthermal air-vapour collisions play the most important role in this process. The ionization of air, classically disregarded, contributes to the electron production as significantly as ionization of magnesium and iron. Finally, we propose that DSMC could be employed as a numerical experiment providing ionization coefficients to be used in synthetic models.

Aerothermodynamic modelling of meteor entry flows

Bariselli, Federico;Frezzotti, Aldo;
2020

Abstract

Due to their small size and tremendous speeds, meteoroids often burn up at high altitudes above 80 km, where the atmosphere is rarefied. Ground radio stations allow us to detect the concentration of electrons in the meteoroid trail, which are produced by hyperthermal collisions of ablated species with the freestream. The interpretation of these data currently relies on phenomenological methods, derived under the assumption of free molecular flow, that poorly accounts for the detailed chemistry, diffusion in the vapour phase, and rarefied gas effects. In this work, we employ the direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) method to analyse the detailed flowfield structure in the surroundings of a 1 mm meteoroid at different conditions, spanning a broad spectrum of Knudsen and Mach numbers, and we extract resulting ionization efficiencies. For this purpose, we couple the DSMC method with a kinetic boundary condition which models evaporation and condensation processes in a silicate material. Transport properties of the ablated vapour are computed following the Chapman-Enskog theory starting from Lennard-Jones potentials. Semi-empirical inelastic cross-sections for heavy- and electron-impact ionization of metals are computed analytically to obtain steric factors. The ionization of sodium is dominant in the production of free electrons, and hyperthermal air-vapour collisions play the most important role in this process. The ionization of air, classically disregarded, contributes to the electron production as significantly as ionization of magnesium and iron. Finally, we propose that DSMC could be employed as a numerical experiment providing ionization coefficients to be used in synthetic models.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
BARIF01-20.pdf

Accesso riservato

Descrizione: Paper
: Publisher’s version
Dimensione 4.75 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
4.75 MB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri
BARIF_OA_01-20.pdf

accesso aperto

Descrizione: Paper Open Access
: Publisher’s version
Dimensione 4.77 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
4.77 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1129401
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 8
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 6
social impact