This paper reviews the electron-and heavy-particle impact processes governing the population/depletion of the states of N, O, N2, and N+2, which can be significantly affected by nonequilibriumconditions while strongly radiating in lunar-return shock layers. The collisional-radiative model developed in this work includes electron-impact excitation, ionization, heavy-particle impact excitation, vibration-electron, vibration-translation, dissociation and bound-bound radiative mechanisms. The available experimental and theoretical reaction rates governing these processes were critically reviewed to produce a reliable set of rate constants. The collisional-radiative model was then applied to typical nonequilibrium thermodynamic conditions encountered during lunar-return Earth reentry. The effect of heavy-particle impact processes is discussed.
Journal of Thermophysics and Heat Transfer / Vol. 30, No. 1, pp.226-239