Stability analysis of Beagle2 in free-molecular and transition regimes

Abdel-Jawad, Madhat, Goldsworthy, Mark and Macrossan, Michael N. (2008) Stability analysis of Beagle2 in free-molecular and transition regimes. Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, 45 6: 1207-1212. doi:10.2514/1.37034

Author Abdel-Jawad, Madhat
Goldsworthy, Mark
Macrossan, Michael N.
Title Stability analysis of Beagle2 in free-molecular and transition regimes
Journal name Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0022-4650
Publication date 2008-11
Year available 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.2514/1.37034
Volume 45
Issue 6
Start page 1207
End page 1212
Total pages 6
Place of publication Reston, VA, United States
Publisher American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Language eng
Subject 0901 Aerospace Engineering
020303 Fluid Physics
Abstract We present the results of a series of Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) calculations to determine the aerodynamic coefficients of the Beagle2 aeroshell at selected points along its planned trajectory through the upper Martian atmosphere. The flow around the aeroshell can be characterized as free-molecular on first entry to the atmosphere, then transitional as Beagle2 descends towards the lower atmosphere. The aerodynamic coefficients were used as inputs for a dynamic stability analysis of the capsule over the first 25.4 seconds of its flight through the upper atmosphere. In the transition regime the stabilizing moments of the pressure forces were within 0.5% of the destabilizing moments due to the skin friction forces, leaving only a very small net stabilizing moment. The high spin rate of the aeroshell counteracted not only the destabilizing moments in the free molecular regime but also counteracted the small stabilizing moments in the transition regime. It is unlikely that the Beagle2 could have achieved its target zero angle of attack condition at time = 13.2s, or any subsequent time up to the 25.4s analyzed. Although our analysis does not extend to Beagle2’s path through the lower atmosphere, we suggest that the probable departure from zero angle of attack when Beagle2 entered the lower Martian atmosphere is a likely cause of the loss of the spacecraft.
Keyword Rarefied flow
Free-molecular flow
Spinning spacecraft
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology Publications
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Created: Fri, 13 Mar 2009, 09:39:24 EST by Michael N Macrossan on behalf of School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering