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Published January 2010 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Expansion Tube Investigation of Shock Stand-Off Distances in High-Enthalpy CO_2 Flow Over Blunt Bodies


The shock standoff distance in front of a blunt body is sensitive to the thermochemical state of the free stream. Recently, experimental and numerical studies have reported significantly different bow shock profiles in high-enthalpy carbon dioxide flows, a discrepancy that may result from non-equilibrium processes during flow acceleration in ground-based facilities. In this work, an expansion tube is used to create a Mach 5.7 carbon dioxide flow, matching the stagnation enthalpy and the velocity of previous studies. Images of shock layers are obtained for spherical geometries and a scaled model of the Mars Science Lander. Different sphere diameters are used in order to access non-equilibrium and equilibrium stagnation line shock profiles predicted by theory. Mars Science Lander profiles at zero angle of attack are in good agreement with available data from the LENS X expansion tunnel facility, confirming results are facility-independent for the same type of flow acceleration, and indicating the flow velocity is a suitable first-order matching parameter for comparative testing. Heat transfer measurements on the Mars Science Lander are also presented for the three different angle of attacks, and the results are consistent with previous studies. Initial results from a proposed organo-metallic based emission spectroscopy technique for bow shock layer interrogation are also presented.

Additional Information

© 2010 by Manu Sharma. Published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc., with permission. AIAA 2010-1566.

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