Performance characterization of a radiatively driven hypersonic wind tunnel Conference Paper uri icon


  • 1998 by R.W. Anderson. Published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. The radiatively driven wind tunnel concept is analyzed with the aim of identifying performance capabilities and limits. These fundamental limitations result firstly from the thermodynamics of the heat addition to a supersonic flow and secondly from trade-offs in upstream stagnation temperature and pressure and radiant energy addition. For a given stagnation temperature and pressure, the analysis firstly identifies an optimized thermodynamic path in the Mollier diagram to achieve the highest possible Mach number for given atmospheric conditions in the test section. These idealized paths enable performance envelopes to be obtained and the sensitivity to changes in stagnation conditions to be seen. These envelopes are shown on a Mach number, altitude plot and are compared with conventional facilities. Design trade offs are considered within the constraints identified. The inverse problem of designing an area distribution to achieve a thermodynamic path close to the ideal is discussed. In the particular case of election beam radiation a design is achieved which is close to the ideal.

name of conference

  • 37th Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit

published proceedings

  • 37th Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit

author list (cited authors)

  • Anderson, R., Brown, G., & Miles, R.

publication date

  • January 1, 1999 11:11 AM