Deceleration and mass change of an ablating body during high-velocity motion in the atmosphere.

by Carl Gazley


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An examination of the factors affecting the dynamics and mass loss of ablating bodies moving at high velocities in a gaseous medium. The interdependent deceleration and rate of mass loss make the problem more complex than the simple case of deceleration of a body of constant mass. Although a solution exists for the classic meteor case with constant heat-transfer and drag coefficients, results have not been available for cases where these coefficients vary during the deceleration process, e.g., large bodies moving in the lower atmosphere. The Memorandum presents some analytic solutions for specific variations of the heat-transfer coefficient and suggests an approximation for other types of variations.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Research memorandum series. The Research Memorandum was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1973 that represented working papers meant to report current results of RAND research to appropriate audiences.

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