Articles | Volume 19, issue 5
31 May 2001
 | 31 May 2001

Rarefied gas flows through meshes and implications for atmospheric measurements

J. Gumbel

Abstract. Meshes are commonly used as part of instruments for in situ atmospheric measurements. This study analyses the aerodynamic effect of meshes by means of wind tunnel experiments and numerical simulations. Based on the Direct Simulation Monte Carlo method, a simple mesh parameterisation is described and applied to a number of representative flow conditions. For open meshes freely exposed to the flow, substantial compression effects are found both upstream and downstream of the mesh. Meshes attached to close instrument structures, on the other hand, cause only minor flow disturbances. In an accompanying paper, the approach developed here is applied to the quantitative analysis of rocket-borne density measurements in the middle atmosphere.

Key words. Atmospheric composition and structure (instruments and techniques; middle atmosphere – composition and chemistry)