Shock Waves

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 1–12 | Cite as

Experimental study on the flow field behind a backward-facing step using a detonation-driven shock tunnel

Original Article


The supersonic combustion RAM jet (SCRAM jet) engine is expected to be used in next-generation space planes and hypersonic airliners. To develop the engine, stabilized combustion in a supersonic flow field must be attained even though the residence time of flow is extremely short. A mixing process for breathed air and fuel injected into the supersonic flow field is therefore one of the most important design problems. Because the flow inside the SCRAM jet engine has high enthalpy, an experimental facility is required to produce the high-enthalpy flow field. In this study, a detonation-driven shock tunnel was built to produce a high-enthalpy flow, and a model SCRAM jet engine equipped with a backward-facing step was installed in the test section of the facility to visualize flow fields using a color schlieren technique and high-speed video camera. The fuel was injected perpendicularly to a Mach 3 flow behind the backward-facing step. The height of the step, the injection distance and injection pressure were varied to investigate the effects of the step on air/fuel mixing characteristics. The results show that the recirculation region increases as the fuel injection pressure increases. For injection behind the backward-facing step, mixing efficiency is much higher than with a flat plate. Also, the injection position has a significant influence on the size of the recirculation region generated behind the backward-facing step. The schlieren photograph and pressure histories measured on the bottom wall of the SCRAM jet engine model show that the fuel was ignited behind the step.


SCRAM jet engine Detonation-driven shock tunnel Backward-facing step Supersonic combustion 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Huber, P.W., Schexnayder, C.J., McClinton, C.R.: Criteria for self-ignition of supersonic hydrogen–air mixtures. NASA TP-1457 (1979)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    McClinton, C.R.: Autoignition of hydrogen injected transverse to supersonic airstream. AIAA Paper 79-1239 (1979)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Sato, Y., Sayama, M., Masuya, G., Komuro, T., Kudou, K., Murakami, A., Tani, K., Chinzei, N.: Experimental study on autoignition in a Scramjet combustor. J. Propulsion Power 7, 675–658 (1991); see also Proceedings of the 9th International Symposium on Airbreathing Symposium, Athens, Greece, September 1989, pp. 569–576CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Whitehurst, R.B., Krauss, R.H., McDaniel, J.C.: Parametric and time resolved studies of auto-ignition and flame holding in a clean-air supersonic combustor. AIAA Paper 92-3424 (1992)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Tomioka, S., Takahashi, S., Ujiie, Y., Kono, M.: Interaction between mixing and combustion of slot-injected fuel in a supersonic combustor. AIAA Paper 95-2447 (1995)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Tomioka, S., Hiraiwa, T., Sakuranaka, N., Murakami, A., Sato, K., Mitani, T.: Ignition strategy in a model Scramjet. AIAA paper. 96-3240. In: Proceedings of the Thirty-Second AIAA Joint Propulsion Conference, Lake Buena Vista, FL, July (1996)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Tomioka, S., Hiraiwa, T., Mitani, T., Zamma, Y., Shiba, H., Masayu, G.: Auto ignition in a supersonic combustor with perpendicular injection behind backward-facing step. AIAA Paper 97-2889 (1997)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Tomioka, S., Shiba, Y., Masuya, G., Tomioka, S., Hiraiwa, T., Mitani, T.: Testing of a Scramjet engine with a Strut at M8 flight condition. AIAA Paper 98-3134 (1998)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Zamma, Y., Shiba, Y., Masuya, G., Tomioka, S., Hiraiwa, T., Mitani, T.: Similarity parameters of pre-ignition flow fields in a supersonic combustor. AIAA Paper 97-2890 (1997)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Gardner, A.D., Paull, A., McIntyre, T.J.: Upstream porthole injection in a 2-D scramjet model. Shock Waves 11, 369–375 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Itoh, K., Ueda, S., Tanno, H., Komuro, T., Sato, K.: Hypersonic aerothermodynamic and scramjet research using high-enthalpy shock tunnel. Shock Waves 12, 93–98 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Stalker, R.J.: A study of the free-piston shock tunnel. AIAA J. 5, 2160–2165 (1967)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Yu, H.-R., Esser, B., Lenartz, M., Grönig, H.: Gaseous detonation driver for a shock tunnel. Shock Waves 2, 245–254 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Lenartz, M., Wang, B., Grönig, H.: Development of a detonation driver for a shock tunnel. In: Proceedings of the 20th International Symposium on Shock Waves, Pasadena, Vol. I, 1995, pp. 153–158Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Stuessy, W.S., Lie, H.-C., Lu, F.K., Wilson, D.R.: Initial operation of a high-pressure detonation-driven shock tube facility. AIAA Paper 97-0666. In: Proceedings of the 35th Aerospace Sciences Meeting/Exhibit, Reno, NV, January (1997)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Lu, F.K., Wilson, D.R., Bakos, R.J., Erdos, J.I.: Recent advances in detonation techniques for high-enthalpy facility. AIAA J. 38, 1676–1684 (2000)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Lu, F.K., Wilson, D.R.: Detonation driver for enhancing shock tube performance. Shock Waves 12, 457–468 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Science and EngineeringSaitama UniversitySaitama-cityJapan
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringSaitama UniversitySaitama-cityJapan

Personalised recommendations