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Preliminary Design of a High-Enthalpy Hypersonic Wind Tunnel Facility and Analysis of Flow Interactions in a High-Speed Missile Configuration

posted on 29.04.2021, 15:33 by Joshua Craig OwnbeyJoshua Craig Ownbey
An approach for designing a high-enthalpy wind tunnel driven by exothermic chemical reactions was developed. Nozzle contours were designed using CONTUR, a program implementing the method of characteristics, to design nozzle contours at various flow conditions. A reacting mixture including nitrous oxide has been identified as the best candidate for providing clean air at high temperatures. The nitrous oxide has a few performance factors that were considered, specifically the combustion of the gas. Initial CFD simulations were performed on the nozzle and test region to validate flow characteristics and possible issues. Initial results show a fairly uniform exit velocity and ability to perform testing. In a second phase of the work, two generic, high-speed missile configurations were explored using numerical simulation. The mean flow was computed on both geometries at 0 and 45 roll and 0, 1, and 10 angle of attack. The computations identified complex flow structures, including three-dimensional shock/boundary-layer interactions, that varied considerably with angle of attack.


Hypersonic Wind Tunnel

Advancing Army Modernization Priorities through Collaborative Energetic Materials Research,


Degree Type

Master of Science


Aeronautics and Astronautics

Campus location

West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Dr. Jonathan Poggie

Additional Committee Member 2

Dr. Carlo Scalo

Additional Committee Member 3

Dr. Timothee Pourpoint

Additional Committee Member 4

Dr. Joseph Jewell