Numerical simulation of 3-D flow around sounding rocket in the lower thermosphere

J. Kurihara, K. I. Oyama, N. Iwagami, T. Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-95
Number of pages7
JournalAnnales Geophysicae
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Jan 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this