, Volume 17, Issue 1-2, pp 65-70
Date: 21 Jul 2007

Background oriented schlieren for flow visualisation in hypersonic impulse facilities

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Experiments to demonstrate the use of the background-oriented schlieren (BOS) technique in hypersonic impulse facilities are reported. BOS uses a simple optical set-up consisting of a structured background pattern, an electronic camera with a high shutter speed and a high intensity light source. The visualization technique is demonstrated in a small reflected shock tunnel with a Mach 4 conical nozzle, nozzle supply pressure of 2.2 MPa and nozzle supply enthalpy of 1.8 MJ/kg. A 20° sharp circular cone and a model of the MUSES-C re-entry body were tested. Images captured were processed using PIV-style image analysis to visualize variations in the density field. The shock angle on the cone measured from the BOS images agreed with theoretical calculations to within 0.5°. Shock standoff distances could be measured from the BOS image for the re-entry body. Preliminary experiments are also reported in higher enthalpy facilities where flow luminosity can interfere with imaging of the background pattern.

Communicated by F. Lu.
A version of this paper was presented at the 25th International Symposium on Shock Waves in Bangalore in July 2005.