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Shock-wave surfing and the separation of meteoroid fragments in the atmosphere

Laurence, Stuart and Deiterding, Ralf (2010) Shock-wave surfing and the separation of meteoroid fragments in the atmosphere. 63rd Meeting of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics, 21.-23. Nov. 2010, Long Beach, USA.

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Official URL: http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/DFD10/Event/133913


Studying the aerodynamic interactions between bodies travelling at highly supersonic speeds is necessary to our understanding of the separation of meteoroid fragments following atmospheric disruption. Here we show that 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, can lead to the accumulation of a significantly higher relative lateral velocity between fragments than would otherwise be possible. The surfing phenomenon is investigated for the canonical cases of interactions between a sphere and a wedge, and between two spheres. Numerical simulations are performed and a simple theoretical model is developed to determine the forces acting on the surfing body. A phase-plane description is employed to elucidate features of the system dynamics in both cases. For the two sphere case, a strong influence of the body radius ratio on the separation process is found and a critical ratio is predicted for initially touching fragments that delineates entrainment of the smaller fragment within the larger fragment's shock from expulsion. It is also shown that a large fraction of the variation in the separation behaviour of meteoroid fragments 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:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Shock-wave surfing and the separation of meteoroid fragments in the atmosphere
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Laurence, Stuartstuart.laurence@dlr.de
Deiterding, RalfOak Ridge National Laboratories, Oak Ridge
Refereed publication:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Volume:Vol. 55
Series Name:Conference Proceedings
Keywords:hypersonic flows, aerodynamic interactions, meteoroid fragmentation
Event Title:63rd Meeting of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics
Event Location:Long Beach, USA
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:21.-23. Nov. 2010
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: Dagmar Brennecke-Hosseinzadeh
Deposited On:21 Dec 2010 15:03
Last Modified:21 Dec 2010 15:03

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