The SCRAMSPACE (Scramjet-based Access to Space) project is a $14M international consortium, led and managed by the University of Queensland, which has the objective of developing scramjet technologies. SCRAMSPACE I was a 1.8 metre free-flying scramjet flight experiment designed to fly at Mach 8.
Hypersonic structures are subjected to severe aerodynamic heating during operation. It was not precisely known how the carbon-phenolic thrust nozzle on SCRAMSPACE I would behave during the flight experiment; therefore, it would be prudent to perform a ground test at conditions representing the flight experiment, to determine the response of the material to these high heat fluxes.
The purpose of this thesis was to perform preliminary simulations of the wind tunnel test to develop a context for the validity of experimental results. To achieve this, relevant background material was analysed and presented, the wind tunnel experimental procedure was defined. Computational fluid dynamics simulations were performed to study the heat flux on the material.
Unfortunately, results for the 2-dimensional simulation were deemed invalid due to carbuncle features near the stagnation point. For the 3-dimensional test model case, there was not much difference between the reactions on and off cases for the three-dimensional test article simulation. However, what was of interest here was the flow characteristics of the irregular geometry in a hypersonic context.
Flow over the top lip of the nose has been over-expanded. The highest heat flux is generated on the ‘lip’ on the right side of the nose, where shear stress and heating loads are highest. This is due to the geometry of the cylindrical cut-away of the nose which directs a small proportion more of the flow up and over the nose.