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The development and utilization of some equipment for low Reynolds number supersonic flow research

Citation

Chuan, Raymond L. (1953) The development and utilization of some equipment for low Reynolds number supersonic flow research. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechETD:etd-04292003-103202

Abstract

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A low Reynolds number supersonic wind tunnel is a useful tool for the investigation of viscous effects in a high-speed flow. In order to avoid some of the difficulties inherent in a conventional wind tunnel system when operating at low Reynolds numbers, a two-phase cycle is proposed. By examining the thermodynamics of the wind tunnel the relative merits of two methods of operation -- the one-phase cycle and the two-phase cycle -- are compared, indicating certain advantages the two-phase cycle possesses over the conventional one-phase cycle when the tunnel is operated at high-speed and low Reynolds number. The design, construction and operation of a small (about 5 cm.[superscript 2] test section area) supersonic (M[.....]2) wind tunnel using a two-phase cycle with water (in liquid and vapor phases) as the working medium are described.

Difficulties in pressure measurement and flow visualization, due to the nature of the working medium and the low density of the flow, are encountered. Means of meeting these difficulties are proposed, including a critical analysis of the schlieren technique, from which is evolved a workable arrangement for visualizing the low Reynolds number flow.

As an example of the possible utilizations of the tunnel, the curvature, due to viscosity, of the attached shock wave on a wedge in uniform supersonic flow is investigated, using schlieren photography. The effective shape of the wedge is deduced from the shape of the shock wave, and is compared to theory with satisfactory qualitative agreement.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Engineering and Applied Science
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Unknown, Unknown
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:1 January 1953
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-04292003-103202
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechETD:etd-04292003-103202
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:1538
Collection:CaltechTHESIS
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:29 Apr 2003
Last Modified:26 Dec 2012 02:39

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