Development of a Ludwieg tube with free piston compression heating for scramjet inlet starting experiments

Buttsworth, David R. and Smart, Michael K. (2010) Development of a Ludwieg tube with free piston compression heating for scramjet inlet starting experiments. In: 48th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting Including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition (AIAA 2010), 4-7 Jan 2010, Orlando, FL. USA.


A Ludwieg tube facility with free piston compression heating has been developed at the University of Southern Queensland for scramjet inlet starting experiments. The Ludwieg tube facility generates a steady flow for about 200 ms which is sufficient for the inlet starting experiments, but the impulsive starting of the hypersonic flow generated by the Ludwieg tube facility can aid inlet starting. For definitive confirmation of inlet start-ability, we have established the essential hardware for pneumatically unstarting the inlet after a steady hypersonic flow is generated in the facility. The pneumatic flow blockage can then be removed to determine whether the inlet will restart under steady in-flow conditions. A Rectangular-to-Elliptical Shape Transition (REST) inlet design has been developed for Mach 8 flight. Preliminary experiments with the REST inlet positioned at the exit of the Mach 6 nozzle have therefore been performed. Pressure measurements and schlieren visualization are used to investigate the flow characteristics within the inlet. Results indicate that the inlet self-starts with the facility, but flow in the inlet changes during the nominally steady run period produced by the Ludwieg tube facility even without attempting to pneumatically unstart the inlet. These changes are attributed to an increase in the test section background pressure which drives compression waves into the Mach 6 free jet flow captured by the inlet. Future effort will be directed towards ensuring Mach 6 free jet compression effects do not affect the scramjet inlet flow.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy. Paper no: AIAA 2010-588.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - No Department
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2012 01:47
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2013 00:46
Uncontrolled Keywords: background pressure; compression effects; compression heating; compression waves; elliptical shapes; flow blockage; flow characteristic; flow condition; free jets; free piston; inlet design; ludwieg tube; Queensland; Schlieren visualization; scramjet inlets; test sections; unstart
Fields of Research : 09 Engineering > 0901 Aerospace Engineering > 090106 Flight Dynamics
09 Engineering > 0901 Aerospace Engineering > 090107 Hypersonic Propulsion and Hypersonic Aerodynamics
09 Engineering > 0913 Mechanical Engineering > 091307 Numerical Modelling and Mechanical Characterisation
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970109 Expanding Knowledge in Engineering

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