Journal of Shanghai Jiao Tong University ›› 2022, Vol. 56 ›› Issue (8): 1089-1100.doi: 10.16183/j.cnki.jsjtu.2021.014

• Aeronautics and Astronautics • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Aerodynamic Drag Characteristics of Ultra-Low Orbit Satellites

WANG Xiaoliang1(), YAO Xiaosong2, GAO Shuang2, LIU Guohua2   

  1. 1. School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
    2. Innovation Academy for Microsatellites of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201203, China
  • Received:2021-01-09 Online:2022-08-28 Published:2022-08-26


Taking the 180~300 km ultra-low orbit satellite as the research object, the aerodynamic drag characteristics of the typical shapes were studied by using the direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) method in the free molecular flow simulation method, which can accurately simulate the three-dimensional complex shapes. By comparing the theoretical drag coefficients of spheres and plates at different velocity rates and the aerodynamic experimental data of 70° bluff body shapes at different velocity rates with the DSMC calculation results, the adaptability of the three-dimensional DSMC method to shape and mesh is verified. The drag characteristics of several typical satellite shapes were calculated and compared, and the pressure difference drag, shear drag, total drag and dimensionless drag coefficients with altitude and shape were obtained. The optimized design of the shape of the ultra-low orbit satellite can reduce the drag by about 10%, which can effectively improve its on-orbit operation characteristics and reduce the design requirements of the own related systems of the satellite.

Key words: ultra-low orbit, satellite, aerodynamic drag, direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC), 70° blunt cone

CLC Number: