Abstract. The space exploration and colonization Roadmap, and the growing interest of the international scientific community toward the Mars colonization, are highlighting the need to develop, or improve to higher TRLs, those technologies enabling human exploration and colonization. In this framework, the CIRA - PRORA research program TEDS has identified some of the most promising technologies and research areas for human/robotic exploration, and human survivability in hostile environments in future space missions. In this contest, Aerodynamics in the Martian low atmosphere, characterized by low Reynolds number and high Mach number, is one of the research areas to investigate. The compressible aerodynamics of low Reynolds number flow (Reynolds number of orders of magnitude 104-105 and Mach number of 0.2-0.7) characterizes the low altitude Martian atmosphere. The need in the exploration of the Martian surface has increased the interest in this “particular" aerodynamic regime, currently, scarcely investigated, and an assessment of the numerical methods is necessary. Three suitable airfoils for compressible low-Reynolds aerodynamics in Martian atmosphere have been selected through a bibliographic study: Triangular, NACA 0012-34 and Ishii airfoils. The experiments in the low-density CO2 facility of the Mars Wind Tunnel, at Tohoku University, over a Triangular, NACA0012-34 and Ishii airfoils with global forces and local PSP measurements, have been considered. The CIRA in-house developed flow solver UZEN (Unsteady Zonal Euler Navier-Stokes) code has been applied by employing several turbulence models. The flow over the Triangular airfoil has been simulated inside the wind tunnel and the free air flow over the NACA 0012-34 and Ishii airfoils have been simulated, and in this paper many results are reported.

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