Radiatively driven hypersonic wind tunnel Conference Paper uri icon


  • 1994 by Los Alamos National Laboratory. Published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. with permission This paper outlines a new approach to die design of hypersonic wind tunnels. This new approach is motivated by fundamental limitations of conventional isentropic expansions which arise from the very high temperatures required to achieve the necessary enthalpy for hypersonic flow. These high temperatures lead to excessive throat degradation and contaminated air in the test section. The consequence is that the run times of conventional facilities must be short and tests arc conducted in "air" of unknown composition containing exceedingly high concentrations of radical and superequilibrium species such as NO as well as ablated plenum and throat material. The radiatively driven wind tunnel approach takes advantage of the real gas properties of air to achieve high enthalpy at low temperature in the plenum, thus minimizing throat degradation and suppressing the formation of unwanted species in the plenum. Additional energy is radiatively added downstream of the throat in the expansion section in order to achieve the desired test conditions. The temperature of the air is kept low throughout the expansion, so the formation of superequilibrium species and radicals is kept to a minimum. Radiative sources that couple to air include high power lasers and microwave devices. A onedimensional model including optical coupling is developed using, as an example, an HF laser coupled to the naturally occurring CO 2 in air

published proceedings

  • AIAA Journal

author list (cited authors)

  • Miles, R. B., Brown, G. L., Lempert, W. R., Yetter, R., Williams, G. J., Bogdonoff, S. M., Natelson, D., & Guest, J. R.

publication date

  • January 1, 1995 11:11 AM