Numerical simulation of 3-D flow around sounding rocket in the lower thermosphere
Abstract. Numerical simulations using the Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) method are known to be useful for analyses of aerodynamic effects on in-situ rocket measurements in the lower thermosphere, but the DSMC analysis of a spin modulation caused by an asymmetric flow around the rocket spin axis has been restricted to the two-dimensional and axially symmetric simulations in actual sounding rocket experiments. This study provides a quantitative analysis of the spin modulation using a three-dimensional (3-D) simulation of the asymmetric flow with the DSMC method. Clear spin modulations in the lower thermospheric N2 density measurement by a rocket-borne instrument are simulated using the rocket attitude and velocity, the simplified payload structure, and the approximated atmospheric conditions. Comparison between the observed and simulated spin modulations show a very good agreement within 5% at around 100km. The results of the simulation are used to correct the spin modulations and derive the absolute densities in the background atmosphere.