A Caltech Library Service

An Experimental Investigation of the Effect of a Transverse Hypersonic Flow Velocity upon a Low-Density D. C. Electrical Discharge in Air

Marlotte, Gary L. (1962) An Experimental Investigation of the Effect of a Transverse Hypersonic Flow Velocity upon a Low-Density D. C. Electrical Discharge in Air. Hypersonic Research Project Memorandum, 66. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. (Unpublished)

[img] PDF - Submitted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


The low-density D. C. electrical discharge in a uniform gas stationary with respect to the electrodes has been studied extensively. However. when the gas moves at a hypersonic speed transverse to the electrodes, several completely new effects are introduced. Experiments were carried out with air in the GALCIT 5-inch by 5-inch hypersonic wind tunnel with a nominal Mach number of 5.8. D. C. breakdown voltages and steady-state sub-normal glow voltages were measured across a channel formed by two sharp-edged insulating flat plates in which flat-plate "Rogowski" electrodes were embedded. Segmented electrodes were then used in the normal glow regime to measure current distributions at each electrode for various electrode segment combinations, total currents, and densities. Some important results of the present study are the following. For the characteristic dimensions and speeds involved. the explicit dependence of electrical breakdown upon the velocity of the stream is small compared to the effect of boundary layer density defects. A theoretical treatment of breakdown is given and qualitative agreement with experiments is obtained. In the normal glow regime using segmented electrodes, an unmistakable explicit flow velocity effect was observed, with the discharge current paths being displaced downstream compared to static bell-jar tests at equivalent densities.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Technical Report)
Additional Information:Army Ordnance Contract No. DA-04-495-ORD-3231. The author acknowledges with gratitude the receipt of a fellowship from the Douglas Aircraft Corporation for the year 1959-1960.
Group:Hypersonic Research Project
Funding AgencyGrant Number
U. S. Army Office of OrdnanceDA-04-495-ORD-3231
Douglas Aircraft CorporationUNSPECIFIED
Series Name:Hypersonic Research Project Memorandum
Issue or Number:66
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20151105-160427473
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:61915
Deposited On:06 Nov 2015 00:16
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 09:13

Repository Staff Only: item control page