SOCRATES – Exhaust Plume Simulation

In collaboration with the Air Force Research Lab and other DoD agencies, SSI developed the SOCRATES (Spacecraft/Orbiter Contamination Representation Accounting for Transiently Emitted Species) software to predict the contamination and radiation environment around spacecraft.

SOCRATES accurately models the interaction of a spacecraft’s thruster exhaust with the atmosphere: calculating densities, reaction rates, and radiative emission rates for both steady-state and unsteady flows.

The SOCRATES software leverages the Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) method with a primary focus for high altitude plume flow field and radiation calculations. It is designed as a research tool for specialists (able to simulate arbitrary species, arbitrary chemical reactions, trace species, etc.), and as a user-friendly tool for the non-specialist (able to run and produce useful results with very minimal input). Distribution of the software is restricted by U.S. export control regulations.

DSMC prediction of an underexpanded Argon plume.