ADBSat: Methodology of a novel panel method tool for aerodynamic analysis of satellites

Luciana A. Sinpetru, Nicholas H. Crisp, David Mostaza Prieto, Sabrina Livadiotti, Peter C.E. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


ADBSat is a novel software that determines the aerodynamic properties of any body in free-molecular flow. Its main advantage is the fast approximation of the aerodynamics of spacecraft in the lower end of the low-Earth orbit altitude range. It is a novel implementation of a panel method, where the body is represented as a set of fundamental elements and the sum of their individual aerodynamic properties makes up the properties of the whole. ADBSat’s approach treats the shape as a set of flat triangular plates. These are read from a CAD geometry file in the Wavefront format, which can be created with most common CAD programs. A choice of gas-surface interaction models is available to represent the physics of free-molecular flow under different conditions. Its modular design means that other models can be easily and quickly implemented. It also benefits from a new shading algorithm for fast determination of elemental flow exposure. An example case is presented to show the capability and functionality of the program.
Original languageEnglish
JournalComputer Physics Communications
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 21 Feb 2022


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