Entropy Considerations In Numerical Simulations Of Non-Equilibrium Rarefied Flows


Non-equilibrium rarefied flows are encountered frequently in supersonic flight at high altitudes, vacuum technology and in microscale devices. Prediction of the onset of non-equilibrium is important for accurate numerical simulation of such flows. We formulate and apply the discrete version of Boltzmann’s H-theorem for analysis of non-equilibrium onset and accuracy of numerical modeling of rarefied gas flows. The numerical modeling approach is based on the deterministic solution of kinetic model equations. The numerical solution approach comprises the discrete velocity method in the velocity space and the finite volume method in the physical space with different numerical flux schemes: the first-order, the second-order minmod flux limiter and a third-order WENO schemes. The use of entropy considerations in rarefied flow simulations is illustrated for the normal shock, the Riemann and the two-dimensional shock tube problems. The entropy generation rate based on kinetic theory is shown to be a powerful indicator of the onset of non-equilibrium, accuracy of numerical solution as well as the compatibility of boundary conditions for both steady and unsteady problems.


Rarefied gas flows; Kinetic theory; Non-continuum effects; Numerical methods; Shock waves

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