Finite Element Model

The thermal model adopted for the simulation of heat flow during entry heating estimates the temperature profile across a model elliptical micrometeoroid consisting of up to 4000 cubic finite elements by approximating a solution to the partial differential equations controlling heat transfer. Because we are specifically interested in whether the increase in surface temperature of micrometeoroids support the temperature profile through the particle a constant surface heating rate was used. Thermal diffusivity was taken as 1.45xl0~6 m2 s"1 equivalent to well compacted sandy soil to model the porous nature of many fine-grained micrometeorites.

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