AFRL Ludwieg Tube Initial Performance Conference Paper uri icon


  • 2017, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc. All rights reserved. The Air Force Research Laboratory has developed and constructed a Ludwieg tube wind tunnel for hypersonic experimental research. This wind tunnel is now operational and its initial performance has been characterized. The tunnel is configured with a 30 inch diameter, Mach 6 nozzle. It is designed to operate with diaphragm or valve actuation. The wind tunnel provides 0.2 seconds of Mach 6 flow during each run. Each run consists of two periods of steady flow at different Reynolds numbers, each of which is approximately 0.1 second in duration. Pitot pressure measurements and schlieren images show good flow uniformity. Pitot pressure fluctuations are approximately 2.5% with a clean diaphragm break, and about 3% using a fast valve. Tests using Mylar, aluminum and steel diaphragms have shown a correlation between the quality of diaphragm breakage and Pitot pressure fluctuations.

name of conference

  • 55th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting

published proceedings

  • 55th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting

author list (cited authors)

  • Kimmel, R. L., Borg, M. P., Jewell, J. S., Lam, K., Bowersox, R. D., Srinivasan, R., Fuchs, S., & Mooney, T.

citation count

  • 20

complete list of authors

  • Kimmel, Roger L||Borg, Matthew P||Jewell, Joseph S||Lam, KIng-Yiu||Bowersox, Rodney D||Srinivasan, Ravi||Fuchs, Steven||Mooney, Thomas

publication date

  • January 2017