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Experimental study of hypersonic boundary layers and base flows

This experimental study documents the development and separation of a hypersonic boundary layer produced naturally on the cold surface of a sharp slender cone. At the base of the conical forebody, the equilibrium turbulent boundary layer was allowed to separate over an axisymmetric rearward facing step to form a compressible base flow. The investigation was conducted in the Imperial College No.2 gun tunnel at a freestream Mach number of 9 and unit Reynolds numbers of 15 and 55 million. The compressible boundary layer study was carried out at both of the available freestream unit Reynolds numbers and the measured data include distributions of wall static pressure and heat transfer rate, together with profiles of pitot pressure through the boundary layer. Using the chordwise distribution of surface heat flux as a means of transition detection, the cone transition Reynolds number was found to be 5.4x10^. This result, together with that obtained from flat plate studies conducted in the same test facility, provided a ratio of cone to flat plate transition Reynolds number of 0.8. Boundary layer integral quantities and shape factors are derived from velocity profiles and in most cases the measured data extended close enough to the wall to detect the peak values of the integrands. The separated flow region formed at the base of the cone was documented only at the higher unit Reynolds number, a condition under which the approaching turbulent boundary layer was found to be close to equilibrium. The data include pitot pressure profiles recorded normal to the surface downstream of reattachment, together with wall static pressure and heat transfer rate distributions measured throughout the base flow region. Reattachment occurred approximately two step heights downstream of separation and a surface flow visualisation study indicated the existence of Taylor-Goertler type vortices, emanating from the reattachment line in the downstream direction. A simple shear layer expansion model is developed and shown to provide a favourable prediction of the measured pitot pressure profiles recorded downstream of the reattachment line. The success of this second order model implies that the dynamics of the corner expansion process, except in the immediate vicinity of the wall, is governed largely by inviscid pressure mechanisms and that the supersonic region of the boundary layer expansion is essentially isentropic.
Date January 1996
CreatorsDenman, Paul Ashley
ContributorsHillier, Richard ; Harvey, John
PublisherImperial College London
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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