Development of a wind retrieval method for low-speed low-pressure flows for ExoMars

Álvaro Soria-Salinas* (Corresponding Author), Maria-Paz Zorzano Mier, Roberto Mantas-Nakhai, Javier Martin-Torres

*Corresponding author for this work

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Forced convective heat transfer from three horizontally inclined rectangular-based cylinders (rods) has been studied experimentally under representative Martian near-surface air flows in the Aarhus Wind Tunnel Simulator (AWTS), Denmark. The testing campaign was developed for the HABIT (Habitability: Brines, Irradiation and Temperature) instrument, European payload on board the ExoMars 2022 Kazachok surface platform. The average heat transfer coefficient was determined from steady CO2 flows at a pressure of 9.9 mbar, an ambient temperature of ∼25 °C, and for horizontal free-stream velocities between 0.8 and 12 m/s. A retrieval algorithm to derive the wind speed from the average heat transfer coefficient estimated at each of the three HABIT Air Temperature Sensors (ATS) rods was calibrated within the AWTS. The ATS rods are placed one at the front of the instrument structure (ATS2) and two on the sides (ATS1 and ATS3); and under Martian atmospheric conditions these rods serve as cooling fins. Several relationships between the Nusselt number and the Reynolds and Prandtl numbers reported in the literature were evaluated to model convective heat transfer from the ATS rods. Where needed, corrections to account for radiative heat transfer within the AWTS were implemented. The final retrieval method demonstrated that wind speed can be retrieved for frontal winds in the range of 0–10 m/s, with an error of ±0.3 m/s, using the cooling profile of the ATS rod 3, and for lateral winds in the range of 0–6 m/s, with an error of ±0.3 m/s, using the ATS rod 2 cooling profile.
Original languageEnglish
Article number115752
Number of pages17
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
Early online date22 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

The HABIT FM and EQM were manufactured by Omnisys Instruments AB, Sweden, in cooperation with the Luleå University of Technology (LTU). The HABIT project was funded by the Swedish National Space Agency (SNSA). We thank the ExoMars project team, European Space Agency (ESA), Roscosmos, Space Research Institute (IKI) and Omnisys Instruments AB for their hard work on the ExoMars 2022 mission. We acknowledge the Luleå University of Technology, the Wallenberg Foundation and the Kempe Foundation for support of the Mars research activities. ASS acknowledges the support of the LTU Graduate School of Space Technology. MPZ has been partially funded by the Spanish State Research Agency (AEI) Project No. MDM-2017-0737 Unidad de Excelencia “María de Maeztu”-Centro de Astrobiología (INTA-CSIC). We acknowledge the support of Mr. Jens Jacob Iversen and Dr. Jonathan P. Merrison from the Aarhus Wind Tunnel of the Aarhus University (Denmark).


  • Heat transfer coefficient
  • Forced convection
  • Wind tunne
  • Nusselt number
  • Experiments
  • Mars
  • Wind tunnel
  • MARS


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