Accession Number : ADP000225

Title :   Shock-Induced Flow Separation and the Orbiter Thermal Protection System,

Corporate Author : ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL DOWNEY CA SHUTTLE ORBITER AND INTEGRATION DIV

Personal Author(s) : Waiter,Serge-Albert

Report Date : JUL 1981

Pagination or Media Count : 13

Abstract : The concept of the Space Shuttle orbiter's thermal protection system (TPS) is based on reusable tiles of various shapes and sizes, but none exceeding 8 inches. The tiles are top-coated, but the sides (edges) are not thermally protected and are susceptible to damage from aerothermodynamic heating. Such a problem occurs when large air-mass flows, created by local pressure gradients, circulate into the tile gaps. A typical problem is a pressure gradient created during entry by body flap detection. After a brief description of how the problem affects the Space Shuttle orbiter, a theoretical and experimental review of the phenomenon in which the major parameters involved in gap heating are discriminated and analyzed.

Descriptors :   *Shock waves, *Flow separation, *Thermal insulation, *Space shuttles, Tiles, Voids, Mathematical models, Experimental data, Correlation techniques

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE