A numerical method for predicting hypersonic flowfields

Robert W. Maccormack, Graham V. Candler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The flow about a body traveling at hypersonic speed is energetic enough to cause the atmospheric gases to chemically react and reach states in thermal nonequilibrium. The prediction of hypersonic flowfields requires a numerical method capable of solving the conservation equations of fluid flow, the chemical rate equations for specie formation and dissociation, and the transfer of energy relations between translational and vibrational temperature states. Because the number of equations to be solved is large, the numerical method should also be as efficient as possible. The proposed paper presents a fully implicit method that fully couples the solution of the fluid flow equations with the gas physics and chemistry relations. The method flux splits the inviscid flow terms, central differences the viscous terms, preserves element conservation in the strong chemistry source terms, and solves the resulting block matrix equation by Gauss Seidel line relaxation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-129
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - May 18 1988

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