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AtmosModeler Simulator

Glenn
Research
Center

This is the beta version 1.1f of the AtmosModeler Simulator program, and you are invited to participate in the beta testing. A newer version 1.2 is also available with some additional input and output options. If you find errors in the program or would like to suggest improvements, please send an e-mail to nancy.r.hall@nasa.gov.

This is an interactive program in which you can investigate changes in the atmosphere and its effects on aerodynamic variables. It uses mathematical models of the standard atmosphere of the Earth and Mars. You can find the equations for the standard Earth atmosphere at this web site in both English units and metric units. Similar information is available on the Martian atmosphere. Based on your input velocity, the program also calculates the Mach number, of your aircraft.

The pressure, temperature, and density of the atmosphere constantly change. At any one time there are great variations in the properties of the atmosphere, depending on location around the planet and height above the surface of the planet. The mathematical models used in this simulator show an average variation of properties of the atmosphere at various heights, but not at various locations. The simulator will not predict the temperature or pressure at any single location at any time. But it will help us understand the relations among the values of a given variable at different heights. The simulator can also demonstrate the relative magnitude of the variables on the Earth and Mars.

The simulator is divided into three main sections:

  1. On the left is the graphic showing the altitude of your aircraft. You can set the altitude by clicking on the aircraft image, holding the mouse button down, and moving the aircraft to a new location. The altitude roughly corresponds to the nose of the aircraft image.
  2. At the upper right are the input selection buttons and text fields. You can choose to look at aircraft on Earth or Mars, and you can display the input and output in either English or metric units. You can also input desired values of altitude and velocity using the white input boxes. Simply backspace over the current value, enter a new value, then hit Enter to send the value to the program.
  3. The lower right portion of the simulator provides output information. You can display either the temperature, pressure, density, speed of sound, lift ratio, or Mach number of your aircraft in the output box. Output gauges also display the atmospheric temperature and pressure. The speed of sound depends on the type of gas in the atmosphere (nitrogen and oxygen for the Earth and carbon dioxide for Mars) and on the square root of the temperature of the gas. You can make a comparison of the aerodynamic force generated on an aircraft at two altitudes. The force ratio displayed here compares the aerodynamic force generated by a given aircraft design, at the specified velocity, at the selected altitude (and planet) to the force generated by the same aircraft, at the same velocity, at sea level on the Earth. You can compare the Mach number of a vehicle at two altitudes or on different planets. The Mach number is computed at the specified altitude and velocity. Since the speed of sound depends on the temperature and the gas, you will note some important differences in Mach number. As the Mach number gets closer to (or exceeds) one, compressibility effects, like shock waves and wave drag, become more important to the aircraft.

You can download your own copy of this program to run off-line by clicking on the yellow button:

Button to Download a Copy of the Program


Activities:
Button to Display Grade 4-6 Activity Button to Display Grade 6-8 Activity Button to Display Grade 6-8 Activity Button to Display Grade 9-12 Activity Button to Display Grade 9-12 Activity Button to Display Grade 9-12 Activity Button to Display Grade 9-12 Activity Button to Display Grade 9-12 Activity Button to Display Grade 9-12 Activity Button to Display Grade 9-12 Activity Button to Display Grade 11-12 Activity
Guided Tours
  • Button to Display Previous Page Standard Atmosphere Model: Button to Display Next Page
  • Button to Display Previous Page CurveBall - Baseball Simulation: Button to Return to Guided Tour Page
  • Button to Display Previous Page Mach and Speed of Sound Calculator: Button to Return to Guided Tour Page
  • Button to Display Previous Page Speed of Sound: Button to Display Next Page
  • Button to Display Previous Page Interactive Atmosphere Model: Button to Display Next Page


Navigation..


Button to Display Propulsion Index Button to Display Hi Speed Aero Index Button to Display Hypersonic Aero Index Button to Display Aerodynamics Index
Beginner's Guide

 

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Editor: Nancy Hall
NASA Official: Nancy Hall
Last Updated: May 05 2015

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