Shock tunnel study of spiked aerodynamic bodies flying at hypersonic Mach numbers
A three-component accelerometer balance system is used to study the drag reduction effect of an aerodisc on large angle blunt cones flying at hypersonic Mach numbers. Measurements in a hypersonic shock tunnel at a freestream Mach number of 5.75 indicate more than 50% reduction in the drag coefficient for a 120° apex angle blunt cone with a forward facing aerospike having a flat faced aerodisc at moderate angles of attack. Enhancement of drag has been observed for higher angles of attack due to the impingement of the flow separation shock on the windward side of the cone. The flowfields around the large angle blunt cone with aerospike assembly flying at hypersonic Mach numbers are also simulated numerically using a commercial CFD code. The pressure and density levels on the model surface, which is under the aerodynamic shadow of the flat disc tipped spike, are found very low and a drag reduction of 64.34% has been deduced numerically.