Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics


Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Alina Alexeenko

Committee Chair

Alina Alexeenko

Committee Member 1

Sergey O. Macheret

Committee Member 2

Jonathan Poggie


Nitrogen and atomic oxygen play an important role in high temperature gas systems. Their Zeldovich reaction product nitric oxide not only affects aerothermal loads and emissions of hypersonic vehicles, but also has the possibility to influence the efficiency of hypersonic propulsion. Atomic oxygen induced nitrogen dissociation is another reaction mechanism of the N2+O system. However, due to the difficulty of conducting ground tests, there are no experimental data for this reaction now. Thermo-chemical nonequilibrium could make the problem more difficult since experiments could only track macroscopic gas properties instead of internal energy distribution. On the other hand, current reaction and internal energy exchange models are able to reproduce equilibrium condition. Whether their predictions at nonequilibrium conditions are reliable is still questionable. The work in this thesis employs quasi-classical trajectory (QCT) method based on an ab-initio chemistry calculated potential energy surface for the N2+O system. Through QCT calculations of different initial condition, high fidelity cross sections and rates are obtained. The cross sections are further used to generate a ME-QCT-VT model for vibrational excitation/relaxation, a state-specific exchange (SSE) model and a state-specific dissociation (SSD) model. These models are verified by comparison with direct QCT calculated rates and other experimental data or models. Although there are no flowfield calculations in this work, the models are able to be applied easily in DSMC calculations.