Purdue University Graduate School
Optical Measurement Techniques For High-Speed, Low-Density Flows In A Detonation Driven Shock Tube.pdf (5 MB)

Optical Measurement Techniques For High-Speed, Low-Density Flows In A Detonation Driven Shock Tube

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posted on 2021-12-18, 22:09 authored by Catriona Margaret L WhiteCatriona Margaret L White

Hypersonic flow conditions, such as temperature, pressure, and flow velocity, are challenging to measure on account of the extreme conditions experienced by a craft moving above Mach 5. At Mach 5, the temperature in stratospheric air behind a normal shock wave exceeds temperatures of 1,300 K, and as the craft speed increases, so does the temperature. At these temperatures and conditions, traditional measurement techniques such as thermocouples and pressure transducers either alter the flow path, affecting the measurement, or they do not survive the external conditions. As such, there is interest in investigating alternative ways to measure flow properties. This thesis focuses on the implementation of several optical measurement techniques designed to determine the flow temperature, density gradient, and flow velocity in a detonation driven shock tube. A detonation driven shock tube was chosen for the project as it reliably creates high-speed, low-density, gas flows that are reminiscent of hypersonic conditions.

The first optical measurement technique implemented was background oriented schlieren, a measurement technique that quantitatively provides density gradient data. Experimental data obtained at pressures up to 3,000 psia resulted in density gradients at the exit of the detonation tube in good agreement with the literature.

The detonation tube was also fitted with two fiber optic ports to gather chemiluminescence thermometry data. Both a Stellarnet Black-Comet spectrometer and a Sydor Ross 2000 streak camera were used to capture spectroscopic data at these ports, in order to determine the detonation speed and the rotational temperature of the intermediate OH* combustion products. The Stellarnet spectrometer did not have a fast enough data capture rate to gather reliable data. While the streak camera captured data quickly, we had difficulty gathering enough light from the combustion event and the gathered data was very noisy. The streak camera did however capture the time duration of the full combustion event, so if the fiber connector ports are improved this data taking method could be used in the future to gather rotational temperature data. Both measurement techniques provided some unintrusive measurements of high-speed flows, and improvements to the data taking system could provide much needed information on hypersonic flow conditions.


Degree Type

  • Master of Science


  • Aeronautics and Astronautics

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Timothée Pourpoint

Additional Committee Member 2

Robert Orth

Additional Committee Member 3

Robert Lucht