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Published January 2010 | Published
Conference Paper Open

An Approach to Measuring Step Excrescence Effects in the Presence of a Pressure Gradient


An experimental study was undertaken to determine the effects of step excrescences on boundary layer transition using a unique ground test facility in which the test model was propelled though still air. The models used were designed to have a nominally constant pressure gradient so that the results would be relevant to laminar flow aircraft whose wings often have long runs of mildly favorable pressure gradient. The models had an integrated continuously adjustable two-dimensional step, which could be adjusted to be forward-facing or aft-facing. The large model was used to increase the Reynolds numbers examined so that the results are applicable to laminar flow flight vehicles. Multiple measurement methods, including Preston tubes, hot wires, accelerometers, a boundary layer traverse, and static pressure taps were used to provide comparison data, and to add to the physical understanding of the results. The propelled-model test approach required that the instrumentation be self-contained and ride along with the model as the carrier vehicle moved down the test track. Due to the relatively short times available for data-taking (approximately 15-30 seconds per run), the initialization and data analysis techniques had to be tailored for this application.

Additional Information

© 2010 Northrop Grumman. This work was sponsored by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, Air Vehicles Directorate. The contributions of Mr. Donald Frame and Mr. Steven Jordan to the development of the boundary layer data system are gratefully acknowledged.

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Published - AIAA-2010-373-821.pdf


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