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Modern developments in hypersonic wind tunnels

  • R. J. Stalker (a1)


The development of new methods of producing hypersonic wind-tunnel flows at increasing velocities during the last few decades is reviewed with attention to airbreathing propulsion, hypervelocity aerodynamics and superorbital aerodynamics. The role of chemical reactions in these flows leads to use of a binary scaling simulation parameter, which can be related to the Reynolds number, and which demands that smaller wind tunnels require higher reservoir pressure levels for simulation of flight phenomena. The use of combustion heated vitiated wind tunnels for propulsive research is discussed, as well as the use of reflected shock tunnels for the same purpose. A flight experiment validating shock-tunnel results is described, and relevant developments in shock tunnel instrumentation are outlined. The use of shock tunnels for hypervelocity testing is reviewed, noting the role of driver gas contamination in determining test time, and presenting examples of air dissociation effects on model flows. Extending the hypervelocity testing range into the superorbital regime with useful test times is seen to be possible by use of expansion tube/tunnels with a free piston driver.



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Modern developments in hypersonic wind tunnels

  • R. J. Stalker (a1)


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