A Caltech Library Service

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. doi:10.7907/012K-GE91.


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 15° or 30° 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.))
Subject Keywords:Hypersonic combustion, scramjet
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Minor Option:Planetary Sciences
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Hornung, Hans G.
Thesis Committee:
  • Hornung, Hans G. (chair)
  • Dimotakis, Paul E.
  • Roshko, Anatol
  • Shepherd, Joseph E.
Defense Date:9 April 1993
Non-Caltech Author Email:jacquesbelanger (AT)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Fonds F.C.A.R. of QuebecUNSPECIFIED
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:20 Dec 2019 19:19

Thesis Files

PDF (Belanger_jj_1993.pdf) - Final Version
See Usage Policy.


Repository Staff Only: item control page