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Development and Calibration of a Cold Wire Probe for Use in Shock Tubes


Christiansen, Walter Henry (1961) Development and Calibration of a Cold Wire Probe for Use in Shock Tubes. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/QGS9-WZ66.


The use of a fine unheated wire for making shock tube flow measurements is investigated. The operation of the instrument depends on the transient nature of the shock tube flow. The wire is referred to here as a cold wire; it operates in a non-steady manner which is completely different from the usual hot wire operation. This report describes the construction and calibration of the cold wire. The experimental law for the rate of gain of heat to the wire in air is determined over a range of Mach numbers from 0.4 to 1.9 and a range of Reynolds numbers from 0.035 to 3,500 based on the wire diameter and the conditions in the hot flow following the initial shock wave. Similar measurements are reported for argon. The heat transfer measurements cover the continuum region, the slip and transitional regions, and extend into the free-molecule flow region. The dimensionless results are compared with hot wire measurements obtained in wind tunnels and are found to differ slightly. A difference exists because the cold wire gains heat from the fluid while the hot wire loses heat to the fluid. The measurements are very repeatable and self-consistent, and they indicate that the wire can be used to give an accurate flow measurement in the shock tube. Some potential applications of the wire for the study of shocktube flows are presented. It is concluded that the fine unheated wire is a versatile tool that can be used to great advantage in the shock tube.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:(Aeronautics and Physics)
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Minor Option:Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Roshko, Anatol
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:1 January 1961
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-12142005-124939
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:4993
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:16 Dec 2005
Last Modified:11 Nov 2023 00:09

Thesis Files

PDF (Christiansen_wh_1961.pdf) - Final Version
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