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High-enthalpy shock/boundary-layer interaction on a double wedge


Davis, Jean-Paul (1999) High-enthalpy shock/boundary-layer interaction on a double wedge. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/4C98-MN23.


Interaction between a shock wave and a boundary layer at a compression corner can produce a region of separated flow. The length of separation is important in determining aerodynamic forces, and the heat transfer at reattachment is important for the design of thermal protection systems. The effects of high-enthalpy flow on these phenomenon, particularly separation length, are not well known. Experiments to measure separation length and reattachment heating are performed in the T5 Hypervelocity Shock Tunnel using nitrogen test gas and a double-wedge geometry which allows greater control over local flow conditions at separation and, at high incidence angle, may produce real-gas effects due to dissociation behind the leading shock. Local external flow conditions were found by computational reconstruction of the inviscid nonequilibrium flow field.

Application of results from asymptotic theory to a simple model for separation leads to a new scaling parameter which approximately accounts for wall temperature effects on separation length for a laminar nonreacting boundary layer and extends previous results to arbitrary viscosity law. A. classification is introduced which divides mechanisms for real-gas effects into those acting internal and external to viscous regions of the flow, with internal mechanisms further subdivided into those arising upstream and downstream of separation. Application of the ideal dissociating gas model to a scaling law based on local external flow parameters and a nonreacting boundary layer shows that external mechanisms due to dissociation decrease separation length at low incidence but depend on the free-stream dissociation at high incidence, and have only a small effect on peak heating. A limited numerical study of reacting boundary layers shows that internal mechanisms due to recombination in the upstream boundary layer cause a slight decrease in separation length and a large increase in heat flux relative to a nonreacting boundary layer with the same external conditions.

Correlations are presented of experimentally measured separation length using local external flow parameters computed for reacting flow, which scales out external mechanisms but not internal mechanisms. These show the importance of the new scaling parameter in high-enthalpy flows, a linear relationship between separation length and reattachment pressure ratio as found previously for supersonic interactions, and a Reynolds-number effect for transitional interactions. A significant increase in scaled separation length is observed for high-enthalpy data in the laminar regime, and this is attributed to an internal recombination mechanism occurring in the separated shear layer. Experimental data for reattachment heat flux are found to agree roughly with existing correlations and to exhibit an increase due to an internal recombination mechanism, but cannot provide further insight due to large scatter.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:boundary-layer separation; high-enthalpy flow; hypersonic; hypervelocity; real-gas effects; shock/boundary-layer interaction
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Sturtevant, Bradford (advisor)
  • Hornung, Hans G. (advisor)
Thesis Committee:
  • Sturtevant, Bradford (chair)
  • Roshko, Anatol
  • Pullin, Dale Ian
  • Goodwin, David G.
  • Hornung, Hans G.
  • Shepherd, Joseph E.
  • Kubota, Toshi
Defense Date:29 September 1998
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-02272008-125333
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:788
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:12 Mar 2008
Last Modified:20 Dec 2019 19:55

Thesis Files

PDF (Davis_jp_1999.pdf) - Final Version
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