Characterization of reflected shock tunnel air conditions using a simple method

Sangdi Gu, Herbert Olivier, Chih Yung Wen, Jiaao Hao, Qiu Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


A new method to characterize air test conditions in hypersonic impulse facilities is introduced. It is a hybrid experimental-computational rebuilding method that uses the Fay-Riddell correlation with corrections based on thermochemical nonequilibrium computational fluid dynamic results. Its benefits include simplicity and time-resolution, and using this method, a unique characterization can be made for each individual experimental run. Simplicity is achieved by avoiding the use of any optical techniques and overly expensive numerical computations while still maintaining accuracy. Without making any assumptions to relate the reservoir conditions to the nozzle exit conditions, the work done characterizing four test conditions in a reflected shock tunnel is presented. In this type of facility, shock compression is used to produce an appropriate reservoir, which is then expanded through a nozzle to produce hypersonic flow. Particular focus is given to the nozzle exit total enthalpy where a comparison is made with the reservoir enthalpy obtained using the measured shock speed and pressure in the shock tube. Good agreement is observed in all cases providing validation of the new approach. Additionally, static pressure measurements showed clearly that conditions III and IV have a thermochemical state which likely froze shortly after the nozzle throat. Also, the nozzle flow is shown to be almost isentropic. Due to the simplicity of the current method, it can be easily implemented in existing facilities to provide an additional independent estimate alongside existing results.

Original languageEnglish
Article number056103
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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