Mars and Venus Entry Simulation Capabilities of IRS Plasma Wind Tunnel PWK3

Georg Herdrich, Thomas Marynowski


An assessment is made for the inductively driven plasma wind tunnel PWK3 with the goal to derive relevant mass specific enthalpies for typical Mars and Venus atmospheric entry missions. For this purpose an integral method has been used which links the plasma power to the radial distribution of total pressure and fully catalytic heat flux in the plasma jet on basis of a relation from Marvin and Pope. Rebuilding the enthalpies with this relation allows for the derivation of a gas specific proportionality factor. This factor enables the derivation of the mass specific enthalpies at the centre line and the radial profiles for the respective condition are not necessarily required any more. Correspondingly a review of reference CO2 plasma conditions obtained in past investigations at IRS leads to the identification of an operational envelope in terms of the mass specific enthalpies which are from an energy consideration the prerequisite for the creation of similarities with respect to the real atmospheric entry maneuvers. The analysis shows that PWK3 is capable to cover the full range of mass specific enthalpies that are required for typical Mars and Venus atmospheric entry scenarios.

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Applied Physics Research   ISSN 1916-9639 (Print)   ISSN 1916-9647 (Online)   Email:

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