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Published October 1, 2015 | Published
Journal Article Open

Analysis of focused laser differential interferometry


A computational method for predicting the output of a focused laser differential interferometer (FLDI) given an arbitrary density field is presented. The method is verified against analytical predictions and experimental data. The FLDI simulation software is applied to the problem of measuring Mack-mode wave packets in a hypervelocity boundary layer on a 5° half-angle cone. The software is shown to complement experiments by providing the necessary information to allow quantitative density fluctuation magnitudes to be extracted from experimental measurements.

Additional Information

© 2015 Optical Society of America. Received 10 July 2015; revised 31 August 2015; accepted 2 September 2015; posted 3 September 2015 (Doc. ID 245742); published 30 September 2015. The authors would like to thank Dr. Matthew Fulghum for helpful insights into how the FLDI attenuates unwanted signals. The authors would also like to thank Aditya Bhattaru for his assistance setting up the FLDI at Caltech during his Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship in 2014. The authors would additionally like to thank Dr. Josué Melguizo-Gavilanes for performing the OpenFOAM computations in Section 4.B. Finally, the authors are very grateful to Neal Bitter for performing the boundary-layer stability calculations that provided the data for Section 5. The lead author acknowledges the support of Foster and Coco Stanback STEM Fellowship for his graduate studies.

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August 20, 2023
August 20, 2023