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Published March 2013 | Accepted Version
Journal Article Open

Differential Interferometric Measurement of Instability in a Hypervelocity Boundary Layer


The prediction of laminar–turbulent transition location in high-speed boundary layers is critical to hypersonic vehicle design because of the weight implications of increased skin friction and surface heating rate after transition. Current work in T5 (the California Institute of Technology's free piston reflected shock tunnel) includes the study of problems relevant to hypervelocity boundary layer transition on cold-wall slender bodies. With the ability to ground-test hypervelocity flows, the study of energy exchange between the boundary layer instability and the internal energy of the fluid is emphasized. The most unstable mode on a cold-wall slender body at zero angle of incidence is not the viscous instability (as in low-speed boundary layers) but the acoustic instability. Quantitative characterization of this disturbance is paramount to the development of transition location-prediction tools.

Additional Information

© 2012 by California Institute of Technology. Published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc., with permission. Received 5 April 2012; revision received 22 July 2012; accepted for publication 30 July 2012; published online 23 November 2012. Thanks to Bahram Valiferdowsi and Joe Jewell for helping run the facility. This work was sponsored by the National Center for Hypersonic Research in Laminar–Turbulent Transition, for which John Schmisseur and Deppak Bose are the program managers. The views and conclusions contained herein are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies or endorsements, either expressed or implied, of the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research or the U.S. government.

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Accepted Version - PHS_Tech_Note.pdf


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