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INVESTIGATION OF SUPERSONIC FLOW PROPERTIES Aero Engineering Laboratory AOE 4154 Lab Instructor: Dr. Roger Simpson Lab TA: Scott Burger Lab Section: Friday 3:55 – 5:20 Date Performed: November 13, 2009 Student Name: Craig Sossi Student Number: 904512344 Honor Pledge: By submitting this document I pledge that I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid. Craig Sossi Page | 1
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The purpose of this experiment is to examine the flow past a wedge at different angles of attack in a supersonic wind tunnel with a free-stream Mach number of 2.4. Schlieren images were captured of the test section for each test case and examined to determine flow properties such as shock and turning angles, Mach numbers, pressures and boundary layer thicknesses. These values were also calculated mathematically and determined to be closely related to the observed values. Errors lie within the method of measuring shock and turning angles, which accounts for the small discrepancies in values. INTRODUCTION Supersonic flight has peaked human interest since before Chuck Yeager successfully broke the sound barrier in the 1940s. The advancement of technologies today have allowed for not only supersonic flight (Mach 1 – Mach 4), but to reach hypersonic speeds (Mach 5 and above) as well. As aircraft transfer from the transonic region to the supersonic region, flow properties begin to change. One such example is flow speed and volume. In subsonic flow, air speeds up when compressed and slows down when expanded, while in supersonic flight, air slows down when compressed and speeds up when expanded. Shock waves also form around various parts of the aircraft such as the nose and leading edges of the wing. It is important to study the effects of supersonic flows to ensure correct operation of the aircraft is maintained while in supersonic flight. Since producing supersonic flows in test tunnels presents many challenges, the tunnels themselves are often small in nature. Simple geometrical objects such as cones, wedges and spheres of varying characteristics are used in place of various aircraft features during testing since a full geometrically scaled model is often impractical due to its small size. The use of light and optics is a simple and effective way for studying supersonic flows. Because of large density changes across shock waves and other parts of supersonic flows, the changes in the index of refraction for light changes dramatically, which when captured in a still image referred to as a schlieren image, can be used to analyze the various features of the flow. [1] The resulting still image can be examined to determine wave patterns, flow velocities, and boundary layer conditions. To capture the light refractions, a shadowgraph system will be used (schematic shown in
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