Plasma Arc Jet Testing for Thermal Protection Characterization 941371
Plasma arc jet test facilities provide a reliable and versatile environment for materials performance characterization. Although exact simulations of flight conditions are generally not possible in arc test facilities, suitable materials performance tests can be conducted by simulating only a select few performance parameters. Understanding the principal ablative mechanisms for a given material class allows one to identify the critical simulation parameters. Predictive thermal models, developed from arc jet data, then can be used for the design of thermal protection systems meeting flight condition requirements.