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Studies of mixing and combustion in hypervelocity flows with hot hydrogen injection


Belanger, Jacques (1993) Studies of mixing and combustion in hypervelocity flows with hot hydrogen injection. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology.


NOTE: Text or symbols not renderable in plain ASCII are indicated by [...]. Abstract is included in .pdf document.

The ability to build an air-breathing single-stage-to-orbit propulsion system requires examination of key elements such as turbulent mixing rates, especially at the "zero shear" fuel-air mixing condition, and combustion efficiency. The required data can only be obtained in experiments which simultaneously match the flight total pressure and total enthalpy as well as the fuel conditions. GALCIT, with its new free piston shock tunnel T5, has the capability to do some of these combustion experiments. But prior to these tests, it was felt that there was a need to simulate the gas dynamical processes in the free piston shock tunnel and also in a new combustion driven shock tunnel built for these experiments so that both systems could be used as efficiently as possible. The numerical code helped explain the piston motion in the free piston shock tunnel. The code was also very useful for the design of the combustion driven shock tunnel.

Because hydrogen has to be injected into the combustion chamber of the propulsion system after being used as a cooling fluid, a combustion driven shock tunnel was built to reproduce this "hot" hydrogen fuel. The system has been used successfully to supply hydrogen at up to 1500 K for the experiments. To reduce the complexity of the problem, a very basic configuration for the hydrogen injection system was tested. This was first done with an injection system mounted flush with the surface of a flat plate in the test section of T5. Different test conditions as well as Mach 2 and 5 nozzle injectors at angles of [...] or [...] were tested to determine criteria for significant combustion. Lower limits in pressure and enthalpy were found where hydrogen combustion becomes very limited using this "hot" hydrogen fuel. The second set of experiments still used an injection system mounted flush with the surface but involved a small combustor model previously tested in the hypervelocity HYPULSE facility. Low pressure experiments were performed to reproduce some of the HYPULSE tests and excellent agreement was found. Experiments at high pressure were also performed to better match the real flight total pressure and some hydrogen combustion was detected in these tests.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Thesis Availability:Restricted to Caltech community only
Research Advisor(s):
  • Hornung, Hans G.
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:9 April 1993
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-08222007-092852
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:3197
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:27 Aug 2007
Last Modified:26 Dec 2012 02:57

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