Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Alexandre Martin

Second Advisor

Dr. James M. McDonough


A weakly ionized hypersonic flow solver for the simulation of reentry flow is firstly developed at the University of Kentucky. This code is the fluid dynamics module of known as Kentucky Aerothermodynamics and Thermal Response System (KATS). The solver uses a second-order finite volume approach to solve the laminar Navier– Stokes equations, species mass conservation and energy balance equations for flow in chemical and thermal non-equilibrium state, and a fully implicit first-order backward Euler method for the time integration. The hypersonic flow solver is then extended to account for very low Mach number flow using the preconditioning and switch of the convective flux scheme to AUSM family. Additionally, a multi-species preconditioner is developed.

The following part of this work involves the coupling of a free flow and a porous medium flow. A new set of equation system for both free flows and porous media flows is constructed, which includes a Darcy–Brinkmann equation for momentum, mass conservation, and energy balance equation. The volume-average technique is used to evaluate the physical properties in the governing equations. Instead of imposing interface boundary conditions, this work aims to couple the free/porous problem through flux balance, therefore, flow behaviors at the interface are satisfied implicitly.