Improved test time evaluation in an expansion tube

Christopher M. James, Timothy G. Cullen, Han Wei, Steven W. Lewis, Sangdi Gu, Richard G. Morgan, Timothy J. McIntyre

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Traditionally, expansion tube test times have been experimentally evaluated using test section mounted impact pressure probes. This paper proposes two new methods which can be performed using a high-speed camera and a simple circular cylinder test model. The first is the use of a narrow bandpass optical filter to allow time-resolved radiative emission from an important species to be captured, and the second is using edge detection to track how the model shock standoff changes with time. Experimental results are presented for two test conditions using an air test gas and an optical filter aimed at capturing emission from the 777 nm atomic oxygen triplet. It is found that the oxygen emission is the most reliable experimental method, because it is shown to exhibit significant changes at the end of the test time. It is also proposed that, because the camera footage is spatially resolved, the radiative emission method can be used to examine the ‘effective’ test time in multiple regions of the flow. For one of the test conditions, it is found that the effective test time away from the stagnation region for the cylindrical test model is at most 45% of the total test time. For the other test condition, it is found that the effective test time of a 54 wedge test model is at most a third of the total test time.

Original languageEnglish
Article number87
JournalExperiments in Fluids
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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