Purdue University Graduate School
Holifield_thesis.pdf (2.52 MB)

Predicting Heating Rates in Hypersonic Gap Flows

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posted on 2022-08-30, 14:16 authored by Laura Haynes HolifieldLaura Haynes Holifield

A study has been undertaken to investigate the flow structure in the vicinity of discontinuities in the surface of a high-speed air vehicle. The effect of gaps and steps on aerodynamic heating is of particular interest. The present    thesis presents Reynolds-averaged Navier Stokes  (RANS) calculations of this class of flow. This thesis consists of two studies: a parametric study of cavity flow at Mach 2 and a study to compare with wind tunnel experiments at Mach 6. The calculations for the parametric study used the Menter two-equation SST turbulence model at fully turbulent conditions. These are two-dimensional cavity flows that were carried out to identify the influence of cavity geometry on flow structure and heating distribution inside the cavity, and to categorize cavity flow regimes. The second study employed RANS calculations for conditions  corresponding to Mach 10 wind tunnel experiments carried out by Nestler et al. (AIAA Paper 1968-673) for Mach 6 boundary layer edge conditions. The SST model used in the parametric study was paired with the Menter oneequation transition model and the two-equation realizable κ-ϵ model in CFD++ was used for the computations. The results showed that, even with adjustment of model parameters, the Menter transition model cannot match the location of laminar to turbulent transition, but it demonstrated good agreement with the experimental data in fully turbulent conditions. The two-equation realizable κ-ϵ model, available in CFD++, was able to accurately model transition and showed favorable agreement for fully turbulent conditions as well.


Grant Number FA8650-20-C-2407


Degree Type

  • Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics


  • Aeronautics and Astronautics

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Jonathan Poggie

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee co-chair

Gregory Blaisdell

Additional Committee Member 2

Joseph Jewell

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