A Caltech Library Service

Shock detachment process on cones in hypervelocity flows


Leyva, Ivett A. (1999) Shock detachment process on cones in hypervelocity flows. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/62TN-GA26.


The shock detachment process on cones in hypervelocity flows is one of the most sensitive flows to relaxation effects. The critical angle for shock detachment under frozen conditions can be very different from the critical angle under chemical and thermal equilibrium. The rate of increase of the detachment distance with cone angle is also affected by the relaxation rate.

The purpose of this study is to explain the effects of nonequilibrium on the shock detachment distance and its growth rate on cones in hypervelocity flows. The study consists of an experimental and a computational program. The experimental part has been carried out at Caltech's hypervelocity reflected shock tunnel (T5). Six different free-stream conditions have been chosen, four using N2 as the test gas and two using CO2. About 170 shots were performed on 24 cones. The cones range in diameter from 2 cm to 16 cm with half-angles varying from 55° to 75°. The experimental data obtained are holographic interferograms of every shot, and surface temperature and pressure measurements for the bigger cones. Extensive numerical simulations were made for the N2 flows and some were also made for the CO2 flows. The code employed is a Navier-Stokes solver that can account for thermal and chemical nonequilibrium in axisymmetric flows.

The experimental and computational data obtained for the shock detachment distance confirms a previous theoretical model that predicts the detachment distance will grow more slowly for relaxing flows than for frozen or equilibrium flows. This difference is explained in terms of the behavior of the sonic line inside the shock layer. Different growth rates result when the detachment distance is controlled by the diameter of the cone (frozen and equilibrium cases) than when it is controlled by the extent of the relaxation zone inside the shock layer (nonequilibrium flows). The experimental data are also complemented with computational data to observe the behavior of the detachment distance from the frozen to equilibrium limits for a given cone half-angle and free-stream condition. As deduced by a previous simple scaling argument, the ratio of the detachment distance to the diameter of the cone is constant in the two extremes and rapidly switches from one value to the other for cone diameters of about 2 cm to 16 cm. The experimental interferograms are also compared with numerical ones in terms of the detachment distance, the number of fringes in the shock layer, and the shape of the fringes.

The heat flux traces obtained from the temperature measurements show different behaviors for the attached and detached cases, but these effects can be related to the conditions at the edge of and inside the boundary layer and to the Reynolds number of the flow rather than to nonequilibrium effects. The pressure measurements were insensitive to the degree of nonequilibrium.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:shock-detachment on cones, non-equilibrium effects, relaxing flows over cones, hypersonic flow over cones, high-enthalpy flow over cones, cone detachment distance
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Hornung, Hans G.
Thesis Committee:
  • Hornung, Hans G. (chair)
  • Sturtevant, Bradford
  • Meiron, Daniel I.
  • Culick, Fred E. C.
  • Shepherd, Joseph E.
Defense Date:28 May 1999
Non-Caltech Author Email:ialr2003 (AT)
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-02082008-162753
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:564
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:20 Feb 2008
Last Modified:20 Dec 2019 19:44

Thesis Files

PDF (Leyva_ia_1999.pdf) - Final Version
See Usage Policy.


Repository Staff Only: item control page