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International Heat Transfer Conference 16

ISSN: 2377-424X (online)
ISSN: 2377-4371 (flashdrive)


Loïc Van Ghele
ONERA - The French Aerospace Lab, 31055, Toulouse Cedex 4, France

Philippe Reulet
ONERA - The French Aerospace Lab, 31055, Toulouse Cedex 4, France

J.-L. Verant
ONERA - The French Aerospace Lab, 31055, Toulouse Cedex 4, France

Pierre Millan
Onera – Centre de Toulouse Département Modèles pour l'Aérodynamique et l'Energétique 2, Avenue Edouard Belin B.P 4025 31055 Toulouse cedex 4 – France

Jean-Luc Battaglia
Université de Bordeaux, Laboratoire LEPT, ENSAM Esplanade des Arts et Métiers, 33405 Talence Cedex

DOI: 10.1615/IHTC16.cip.024117
pages 2699-2706

KEY WORDS: Inverse problems, Thermal insulation, atmospheric, reentry, Intermediate, eXperimental, Vehicle, IXV, C/SiC, Thermal, Protection, System, TPS, AeroThermoDynamics, ATD, thermocouple


The Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV) is the first European attempt at a full atmospheric reentry from low Earth orbit conditions using an automatic lifting body. The present study is an aerothermal analysis of the IXV nose. This part is thermally protected on the outer surface by a panel of ceramic matrix composite C/SiC and several insulation layers. Temperature measurements were carried out during the flight by thermocouples installed between the C/SiC panels and the insulation layers. In this respect, a numerical method is performed to estimate the heat transfer conditions at the external surface thanks to the temperature measurements. This inverse nonlinear transient heat conduction problem is solved thanks to the least-squares criterion and Beck's method of regularization based on future time steps. The results are compared to the predictions obtained during the pre-flight phase. As expected, the heat flux was overestimated during the pre-flight phase due to the assumptions on the C/SiC catalytic behavior. Finally, a sensitivity analysis is applied and allows to notice that the calibration of thermocouples, and the thickness and the emissivity of the C/SiC have the largest impact on the accuracy of the estimated heat flux. Since the flight materials properties never correspond to the theoretical ones, this study also allows to estimate an interval of the possible heat flux due to the uncertainties of the parameters and the calibration of the thermocouples.

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