I was reading about the Galileo Probe, but suddenly my imagination struck an obstacle.
The probe was slowed from its arrival speed of about 47 kilometers per second to subsonic speed in less than two minutes. The rapid flight through the atmosphere heated the heat shield to around 15,500 °C. At the time, this was by far the most difficult atmospheric entry ever attempted; the probe entered at Mach 50 and had to withstand a peak deceleration of 228 g.
... 47 kilometers per second... a peak deceleration of 228 g.
I'm having a difficult time imagining this, and I don't think these animations do the entry much justice. (Actually, the first one is rather nice, but the second does zero justice.) So, I'd like to make my own animation. It won't be nearly as pretty and artistic as those two (I'll use simple line graphics, maybe some sprites if I'm really feeling it), but it will help me visualize this thing's hilariously rapid journey.
To make a half-way decent, half-way realistic simulation of what happened, I'll need data in a form I can use, or in a form I can transform for use. I doubt that the probe was transmitting on its firey way down, but there must have been some way to infer its altitude or perhaps speed during entry, if it hadn't already stored that data during entry and transmitted it during its slow descent. (For example, we have its peak gee-load.) What I'm really looking for are altitude and speed (or gee-load) readings; a table or a list of relevant values I can plugin. If none exist, then maybe a way to infer them?
Do there exist data on the altitude and speed (or gee-load) of the Galileo Probe during and after its atmospheric entry into Jupiter?