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Transition Between Regular Reflection and Mach Reflection in the Dual-Solution Domain


Mouton, Christopher Andre (2007) Transition Between Regular Reflection and Mach Reflection in the Dual-Solution Domain. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/TEA0-Q468.


A study of the shock-reflection domain for steady flow is presented. Conditions defining boundaries between different possible shock-reflection solutions are given, and where possible, simple analytic expressions for these conditions are presented. A new, more accurate estimate of the steady-state Mach stem height is derived based on geometric considerations of the flow. In particular, the location of the sonic throat through which the subsonic convergent flow behind the Mach stem is accelerated to divergent supersonic flow is considered. Comparisons with previous computational and experimental work show that the theory presented in this thesis more accurately predicts the Mach stem height than previous theories. The Mach stem height theory is generalized to allow for a moving triple point. Based on this moving triple point theory, a Mach stem growth rate theory is developed. This theory agrees well with computational and experimental results. Numerical computations of the effects of water vapor disturbances are also presented. These disturbances are shown to be sufficient to cause transition from regular reflection to Mach reflection in the dual-solution domain. These disturbances are also modeled as a simple energy deposition on one of the wedges, and an estimate for the minimum energy required to cause transition is derived.

Experimental results using an asymmetric wedge configuration in the Ludwieg tube facility at the California institute of Technology are presented. A Mach 4.0 nozzle was designed and built for the Ludwieg tube facility. This Mach number is sufficient to provide a large dual-solution domain, while being small enough not to require preheating of the test gas. The test time of the facility is 100ms, which requires the use of high-speed cinematography and a fast motor to rotate one of the two wedges. Hysteresis in the transition between regular to Mach reflection was successfully demonstrated in the Ludwieg tube facility. The experiments show that regular reflection could be maintained up to a shock angle approximately halfway between the von Neumann condition and the detachment condition.

Energy deposition studies were performed using an Nd:YAG laser. Triggering transition in this manner is found to depend on the location of the energy deposition. This finding is consistent with the numerical work presented in this thesis. Experiments were also performed to measure the Mach stem height and its growth rate. These results are compared with the theoretical estimates presented in this thesis. Excellent agreement between the steady-state Mach stem height and the theoretical estimates is seen. Comparisons of Mach stem growth rate with theoretical estimates show significant differences, but do show good agreement regarding the time required to reach the steady-state height.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Ludwieg tube; Mach reflection; Mach stem; regular reflection; shock reflection
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Minor Option:Social Science
Awards:William F. Ballhaus Prize, 2007.
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Hornung, Hans G.
Thesis Committee:
  • Hornung, Hans G. (chair)
  • McKeon, Beverley J.
  • Pullin, Dale Ian
  • Shepherd, Joseph E.
  • Dimotakis, Paul E.
Defense Date:1 December 2006
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-01052007-125557
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:36
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:22 Feb 2007
Last Modified:23 Mar 2020 21:58

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