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An experimental investigation of the effect of a transverse hypersonic flow velocity upon a low-density D.C. electrical discharge in air

Citation

Marlotte, Gary L. (1962) An experimental investigation of the effect of a transverse hypersonic flow velocity upon a low-density D.C. electrical discharge in air. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechETD:etd-12132005-105051

Abstract

The low-density D.C. electrical discharge in a uniform gas stationary with respect to the electrodes has been studied extensively. However, when the gas moves at a hypersonic speed transverse to the electrodes, several completely new effects are introduced. Experiments were carried out with air in the GALCIT 5-inch by 5-inch hypersonic wind tunnel with a nominal Mach number of 5.8. D.C. breakdown voltages and steady-state sub-normal glow voltages were measured across a channel formed by two sharp-edged insulating flat plates in which flat-plate "Rogowski" electrodes were embedded. Segmented electrodes were then used in the normal glow regime to measure current distributions at each electrode for various electrode segment combinations, total currents, and densities.

Some important results of the present study are the following. For the characteristic dimensions and speeds involved, the explicit dependence of electrical breakdown upon the velocity of the stream is small compared to the effect of boundary layer density defects. A theoretical treatment of breakdown is given and qualitative agreement with experiments is obtained. In the normal glow regime using segmented electrodes, an unmistakable explicit flow velocity effect was observed, with the discharge current paths being displaced downstream compared to static bell-jar tests at equivalent densities.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Demetriades, Anthony (advisor)
  • Lees, Lester (advisor)
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:1 January 1962
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-12132005-105051
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechETD:etd-12132005-105051
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:4980
Collection:CaltechTHESIS
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:13 Dec 2005
Last Modified:26 Dec 2012 03:13

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