Purdue University Graduate School
Lavery MS Thesis, reDeposited.pdf (68.07 MB)

Developing Force and Moment Measurement Capabilities in the Boeing/AFOSR Mach-6 Quiet Tunnel

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posted on 2022-06-17, 18:33 authored by Nathaniel T LaveryNathaniel T Lavery

The first force and moment measurements were conducted in the BAM6QT. Three 7-degree half-angle sharp cones were tested, one with base radius of 4.5 in. and two with base radius of 3.5 in. made out of different materials. Models were tested at 0 and 2 degrees angle of attack. Models were tested over a range of burst pressures and Reynolds numbers. Models were fitted onto a strain gauge, 6 component, internal, moment balance. Multiple assemblies were tested that mounted the balance in the BAM6QT. High-speed schlieren video was used to monitor flow conditions and track the movement of the tunnel and model. Three entries were performed in the BAM6QT. The improvement in data quality with each new entry is shown and the startup and running loads from entry 3 are analyzed.

Startup loads were measured and are of importance in determining the load range needed to operate in the BAM6QT. Large startup loads up to 40X the running load were identified. Tunnel movement was measured and was used to approximate the inertial loading during startup and the run. The inertial loading was not found to be the cause of the large startup loads. Schlieren video was used to qualitatively review the startup flow. It was found the large startup loads in axial force were plausibly from the high-pressure subsonic flow evacuating the nozzle. For normal force and pitching moment, the startup loads peak at a different time than axial force and appear to be from a shock-shock interaction nearby the model. Trends in startup load with changing model geometry, AoA, and burst pressure were put together to form an empirical estimation for startup loads sharp cones. 

Running loads were profiled and found to be trending with burst pressure and model geometry similarly to Newtonian flow theory predictions. However, due to the lack of a base pressure measurement, the results are uncorrected for sting effects and differ from Newtonian flow theory by a scalar. A 5.3 Hz oscillation in axial force was identified. The frequency of the oscillation is the same as the frequency of the quasi-steady flow periods caused by the reflection of the expansion fan in the driver tube. Normal force during the running load was found to be measuring positive loads when at 0 degrees angle of attack. Both the axial and normal force phenomena were unexpected and were investigated but both require further research. 


Degree Type

  • Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics


  • Aeronautics and Astronautics

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Joseph Jewell

Additional Committee Member 2

Steven Schneider

Additional Committee Member 3

Brandon Chynoweth