A time-dependent collisional-radiative model for air plasma has been developed to study the effects of nonequilibrium atomic and molecular processes on population densities in a weakly ionized high enthalpy flow. This model consists of 15 species: e-, N, N+, N2+, O, O+, O2+, O-, N2, N2+, NO, NO+, O2, O2+ and O2- with their major electronic excited states. Many elementary processes are considered in the number density range of 1012/cm3 ≤ N ≤ 1019/cm3 and the temperature range of 300 K ≤ T ≤ 40,000 K. We then compare our results with an existing collisional-radiative code to validate our model. Additionally, the unsteady nature of pulsively heated air plasma is investigated. When the ionization relaxation time is of the same order as the time scale of a heating pulse, the effects of unsteady ionization are important for estimating air plasma states. From parametric computations, we determine the appropriate conditions for the collisional-radiative steady state, local thermodynamic equilibrium, and corona equilibrium models in that density and temperature range.
- Collisional-radiative model
- Nonequilibrium air plasma
- Reactive and radiative flow
- State-to-state master equation