A Caltech Library Service

Experiments in axisymmetric supersonic jets


Moore, Cyrille Dennis (1996) Experiments in axisymmetric supersonic jets. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/1g15-nz55.


An experimental study of the effects of exit Mach number and density ratio on the development of axisymmetric jets is described in this thesis. Jet exit Mach numbers of 1.41, 2.0, and 3.0, were studied for jets of helium, argon, and nitrogen. The jets exit into a gas at rest (velocity ratio = 0), in order to better isolate the effects of compressibility and density ratio. Density ratios vary from 0.23 to 5.5.

In order to generate shock free-jets, unique nozzles were designed and constructed for each gas and Mach number combination. A plating method for the construction of the nozzles was developed to ensure high-accuracy and a good surface finish at a cost significantly less than direct-machining techniques.

The spreading rate of the jet for several downstream locations is measured with a pitot probe. Centerline data are used to characterise the length of the potential core of the jet, which correlates well with the relative spreading rates. Limited frequency data is obtained through the use of piezo-resistive pressure probes. This method is promising for flows that are not conducive to hot-wire probes.

Spark shadography is used to visualize both the mean and instantaneous flow, with the minimum spark time being 20 nanoseconds. The convection velocity of large-scale disturbances is estimated from the visible Mach-type acoustic waves emanating from the jet.

For a wide range of jet Mach and Reynolds numbers, the convection velocity of the large scale disturbances in the potential core region of the jet is approximately 0.8 times the jet velocity, the approximate velocity of the first helical instability mode of the jet.

The main objectives of the present work were to investigate the effects of compressibility and density on the initial development of the axisymmetric jet. Although the data are not sufficient to determine if the convective Mach number concept used in 2-d shear layer research will work in the case of an axisymmetric jet, it is clear that the axisymmetric data do not collapse onto the 2-d curve. However, the density ratio scaling used for the 2-d shear layer appears to work well for the axisymmetric jet, based on the available data.

The data appear to indicate that the initial development of the jet is dominated by instability modes of the jet as a whole, rather than the shear layers.

One anomaly noted was that there were long period variations in the centerline total pressure, with times on the order of 3000 jet time scales. The fluctuations did not appear to be experimental artifacts.

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):
  • Roshko, Anatol
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:29 September 1995
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-10172005-151911
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:4130
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:18 Oct 2005
Last Modified:16 Apr 2021 23:23

Thesis Files

PDF (Moore_cd_1996.pdf) - Final Version
See Usage Policy.


Repository Staff Only: item control page