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This paper examines the potential impact of the electric field produced by a hypersonic shock layer on thermocouple measurements. This electric field is driven by spatial gradients in the electron pressure, and is typically ignored in the analysis of hypersonic flowfields because its impact on practical quantities, such as surface heating and aerodynamic forces, is negligible. However, this work finds that with the introduction of ablation products with low ionization potentials and turbulence, the electric field near the vehicle surface may be large enough to create anomalous temperature measurements from thermocouples embedded in an electrically conductive material.

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This page is a summary of: Impact of Thermoelectric-Driven Flowfield Voltages on Thermocouples for Ablating Reentry Vehicles, Journal of Thermophysics and Heat Transfer, November 2021, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), DOI: 10.2514/1.t6424.
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