Experimentally simulating gas giant entry in an expansion tube

James, Christopher M., Gildfind, David E., Morgan, Richard G., Lewis, Steven W. and McIntyre, Timothy J. (2017). Experimentally simulating gas giant entry in an expansion tube. In: 21st AIAA International Space Planes and Hypersonics Technologies Conference, International Space Planes and Hypersonic Systems and Technologies Conferences,. 21st International Space Planes and Hypersonic Systems and Technologies Conference, Xiamen, China, (). 6 - 9 March 2017. doi:10.2514/6.2017-2152


Author James, Christopher M.
Gildfind, David E.
Morgan, Richard G.
Lewis, Steven W.
McIntyre, Timothy J.
Title of paper Experimentally simulating gas giant entry in an expansion tube
Conference name 21st International Space Planes and Hypersonic Systems and Technologies Conference
Conference location Xiamen, China
Conference dates 6 - 9 March 2017
Convener AIAA
Proceedings title 21st AIAA International Space Planes and Hypersonics Technologies Conference, International Space Planes and Hypersonic Systems and Technologies Conferences,
Journal name 21st AIAA International Space Planes and Hypersonics Technologies Conference, Hypersonics 2017
Series 21st AIAA International Space Planes and Hypersonics Technologies Conference, Hypersonics 2017
Place of Publication Reston, VA, United States
Publisher American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Publication Year 2017
Sub-type Fully published paper
DOI 10.2514/6.2017-2152
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
ISBN 9781624104633
Total pages 31
Language eng
Abstract/Summary In 2010, planetary entry probe missions to Uranus and Saturn were proposed. This paper details an investigation exploring the operating limits of the X2 superorbital expansion tube at the University of Queensland for the simulation of test conditions related to these proposed entries. Theoretical calculations showed that X2 could recreate the stagnation enthalpy of the proposed 22.3 km/s Uranus entry but not the stagnation enthalpy of the proposed 26.9 km/s Saturn entry. Experiments were able to confirm the theoretical performance calculations. However, losses caused some of the experimental shock speeds to be up to 10% slower than predicted, and due to the high velocity nature of the experiments, the shock speed errors were large making it difficult to properly quantify the test conditions. Further theoretical analysis investigated the possibility of using a more powerful free piston driver to simulate the Saturn entry conditions, and the analysis showed that with a slightly more powerful driver than X2’s current most powerful configuration, the stagnation enthalpy of the proposed Saturn entry or other slightly faster entries proposed in the literature could be simulated. However, a very powerful driver would be required to recreate the stagnation enthalpies of these entries with the excess enthalpy needed to perform binary scaled experiments for an X2 sized facility.
Subjects 2202 Aerospace Engineering
2207 Control and Systems Engineering
1912 Space and Planetary Science
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Conference Paper
Sub-type: Fully published paper
Collections: School of Mathematics and Physics
School of Mechanical & Mining Engineering Publications
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Created: Wed, 13 Sep 2017, 16:34:17 EST by Christopher James on behalf of Learning and Research Services (UQ Library)