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Shock-wave surfing

Laurence, Stuart and Deiterding, Ralf (2011) Shock-wave surfing. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 676 (06), pp. 1-36. Cambrigde University Press. DOI: 10.1017/S0022112011000577. ISSN 0022-1120.

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A phenomenon referred to as ‘shock-wave surfing’, in which a body moves in such a way as to follow the shock wave generated by another upstream body, is investigated numerically and analytically. During the surfing process, the downstream body can accumulate a significantly higher lateral velocity than would otherwise be possible. The surfing effect is first investigated for interactions between a sphere and a planar oblique shock. Numerical simulations are performed and a simple analytical model is developed to determine the forces acting on the sphere. A phase-plane description is employed to elucidate features of the system dynamics. The analytical model is then generalised to the more complex situation of aerodynamic interactions between two spheres, and, through comparisons with further computations, is shown to adequately predict the final separation velocity of the surfing sphere in initially touching configurations. Both numerical simulations and a theoretical analysis indicate a strong influence of the sphere radius ratio on the separation process and predict a critical radius ratio that delineates entrainment of the smaller body within the flow region bounded by the larger body’s shock from expulsion. Furthermore, it is shown that an earlier scaling law does not accurately describe the separation behaviour. The surfing effect has important implications for meteoroid fragmentation: in particular, a large fraction of the variation in the separation velocity deduced by previous authors from an analysis of terrestrial crater fields can be explained by a combination of surfing and a modest rotation rate of the parent body.

Document Type:Article
Additional Information:Published online: 06 April 2011, Juni 2011
Title:Shock-wave surfing
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Laurence, Stuartstuart.laurence@dlr.de
Deiterding, RalfOak Ridge National Laboratory
Journal or Publication Title:Journal of Fluid Mechanics
Refereed publication:Yes
In Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 1-36
Publisher:Cambrigde University Press
Keywords:flow–structure interactions, high-speed flow, shock waves
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W RP - Raumtransport
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W RP - Raumtransport
DLR - Research theme (Project):W - Grundlagen Raumtransport - Anlagen und Messtechnik (old)
Location: Göttingen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Aerodynamics and Flow Technology > Spacecraft
Deposited By: Stuart Laurence
Deposited On:15 Apr 2011 13:47
Last Modified:26 Mar 2015 11:01

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