An improved method to determine free stream conditions in hypersonic facilities
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For determing pressure coefficients and Stanton numbers from the measured surface pressures and heat fluxes at a model surface, the dynamic pressure, mass flux and the total enthalpy of the free stream have to be known. Usually these values are determined by computing the wind tunnel nozzle flow. But a lot of uncertainties enter the computation which may lead to unreliable results. Therefore, a simple method was developed which yields the desired free stream conditions with high accuracy. This could be achieved by using mainly values which are measured within the test section. The method requires the measurement of the Pilot pressure, the stagnation point heat flux on a sphere and the static pressure of the free stream. For the static pressure an estimated value can also be used, because it has no large influence on the result. Some simple considerations show that the derived method is also valid for nonequilibrium free stream conditions. With the procedure presented the accuracy of the pressure coefficients and Stanton numbers could be increased significantly. Further, it improved the repeatability of these test results. This is very important for fundamental research, for the design of hypersonic vehicles as well as for CFD-validation with experimental data. The application of the method presented is not limited to short duration facilities, it can also be used for continuously working wind tunnels.
Key wordsFree stream conditions Shock stand-off distance Stagnation point heat flux Tangential velocity gradient Theory of Fay and Riddell Total enthalpy
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