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Atmosphere 2

Atmosphere 2

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10/01/2010

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© 2009 Auld -- www.aerodynamics4students.com
Properties of the Atmosphere
1. International Standard Atmosphere (ISA).
The International Standard Atmosphere (ISA) has been agreed to by many representative countries andentities in the aviation field. It is a representative model of the atmosphere and not an average. Many of theparticipants in aviation are in the northern hemisphere so their standard will need to be adjusted to suit localconditions elsewhere.
2
. Sea Level ConditionsPropertyMetric unitImperial Unit
Pressure,
P
101.3 kPa2116.7 lb
/ft
2
Density,
ρ
1.225 Kg/m
3
0.002378 slug/ft
3
Temperature,
T
15
o
C 288.2 K59
o
F 518
o
RSpeed of Sound,
a
340.3 m/s1116.4 ft/sViscosity,
μ
1.789 x 10
-5
Kg/m/s3.737 x 10
-7
slug/ft/sKinematic Viscosity,
ν
1.460x10
-5
m
2
/s1.5723x10
-4
ft
2
/sThermal Conductivity,
k
0.02596 W/m/K0.015 BTU/hr/ft/
o
RGas Constant,
R
287.1 J/Kg/K1715.7 ft lb
/slug/
o
RSpecific Heat,
Cp
1005 J/Kg/K6005 ft lb
/slug/
o
RSpecific Heat,
Cv
717.98 J/Kg/K4289 ft lb
/slug/
o
RRatio of Specific Heats,
γ
1.40Gravitational Acceleration,
g
9.80665 m/s
2
32.174 ft/s
2
 
3. ISA Variation with Altitude
Pressure, temperature, density, viscosity and speed of sound variation for the international standardatmosphere (ISA) can be calculated for a range of altitudes from sea level upward. This is done using anexact solution to the hydrostatic equation for a column of air. The air is assumed to be a perfect gas. In thelower region, the troposphere, the atmosphere has a lapse rate (
L
) of 6.5K/Km . At an altitude of 36089 ft thestratosphere starts and the temperature remains constant at 217K. The hydrostatic equation, perfect gas lawand the lapse rate equations are,
 P 
h
=−
 g 
,
 P 
=
 R
and
=
o
 L.h
where the variables used are,
P
-- Pressure (Pa)
T
-- Temperature (K)
g
-- Gravitational acceleration (9.8 m/s
2
);
T
O
-- Standard sea level temperature (288 K);
R
-- Gas constant for air (287 m
2
/s
2
/K);
h
-- Altitude above sea level (m),
L
-- Lapse rate (0.0065 K/m) and
ρ
-- Air density, ( Kg/m
3
);
Figure 1
. Atmospheric Layers and Temperature Variation with Altitude.Solving the hydrostatic equation with a constant lapse rate gives the resulting pressure variation in thetroposphere.
 P  P 
o
=
o
 L.R
where sea level pressure,
P
o
, is set at the standard 101.3 kPa.Solving the hydrostatic equation with a constant temperature gives the resulting pressure variation in thestratosphere.
 P  P 
 s
=
e
 g 
h
 s
h
 R
where conditions with subscript (
s
) are values of altitude (
h
s
), pressure (
P
s
) or temperature (
T
s
) at thetropopause, the start of the stratosphere; the line dividing the two distinct atmospheric regions.
 
Once pressure has been calculated at a particular altitude, density is then calculated using the perfect gaslaw. Viscosity and kinematic viscosity are found by applying the Sutherland law
=
0.1456
×
10
5
 
1
110
And finally speed of sound is found based on the temperature,
a
=
 
 R
Based on the above equations, several applications are available that show atmospheric properties for aspecific altitude. The applications can also be used to predict Mach Number, Dynamic Pressure and other altitude dependent properties if an input speed and reference length are given.
4. Variation of Local Ground Conditions.
On many occasions the ground temperature and pressure will not exactly be equal to ISA standardconditions. In these cases it is possible to adjust the atmosphere model to suit local conditions. As the depthof the atmosphere is very small (125Km-150Km) local variations in temperature and pressure willsubstantially effect the full depth of the atmosphere.Where local sea level temperature is above 15
o
C an ISA+ model is used. In this model the completeatmosphere is incremented by the temperature difference between the current sea level temperature and thestandard value of 15
o
C. For example, on a 20
o
C day, an ISA + 5 model is used. Temperature at all levels of the atmosphere model are incremented by 5
o
C. With this adjustment, the previous formulae for pressure,density, viscosity and speed of sound variation can still be used.No adjustments are made for ground surface altitude, all calculations are done based on model starting atsea level. If the local ground level locally is well above sea level then the atmospheric model will still bebased on sea level and will start at the altitude of the ground compared to sea level.
5. Variation of Density due to Humidity.
The density of the air for a given level of humidity can be found by applying a correction factor to the abovecalculated perfect gas density.
=
 PG
.
h
,
 PG
=
 RT 
The correction factor,
K
h
, can be found by using wet and dry bulb temperature measurements to predictrelative humidity as shown in the table below. The relative humidity can be used to obtain the densitycorrection factor from the following graph. Note that the density correction factor produced assumesapproximately sea level pressure in the application of these formula.

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