Scramjets and Shock Tunnels: The Queensland Experience

Stalker, R. J., Paull, A., Mee, D. J., Morgan, R. G. and Jacobs, P. A. (2005) Scramjets and Shock Tunnels: The Queensland Experience. Progress in Aerospace Sciences, 41 6: 471-513. doi:10.1016/j.paerosci.2005.08.002

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Author Stalker, R. J.
Paull, A.
Mee, D. J.
Morgan, R. G.
Jacobs, P. A.
Title Scramjets and Shock Tunnels: The Queensland Experience
Journal name Progress in Aerospace Sciences   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0376-0421
Publication date 2005-08-01
Year available 2005
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1016/j.paerosci.2005.08.002
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 41
Issue 6
Start page 471
End page 513
Total pages 43
Editor A. B. Haines
Place of publication Oxford : New York
Publisher Pergamon Press
Language eng
Subject 290299 Aerospace Engineering not elsewhere classified
Abstract This article reports on the use of a shock tunnel to study the operation of scramjet powered configurations at sub-orbital velocities above 2 km/s. Thrust, as given by a net thrust equation, is used as a figure of merit throughout the study. After a short description of the shock tunnel used and its operating characteristics, experiments on the combustion release of heat in a constant area duct with hydrogen fuel are reviewed. The interaction between heat release in the combustion wake and the walls of the duct produced pressure distributions which followed a binary scaling law, and indicated that the theoretically expected heat release could be realized in practice, albeit with high pressure or long combustion ducts. This heat release, combined with attainable thrust nozzle characteristics and a modest level of configuration drag, indicated that positive thrust levels could be obtained well into the sub-orbital range of velocities. Development of a stress wave force balance for use in shock tunnels allowed the net thrust generated to be measured for integrated scramjet configurations and, although the combination of model size and shock tunnel operating pressure prevented complete combustion of hydrogen, the cruise condition of zero net thrust was achieved at 2.5 km/s with one configuration, while net thrust was produced with another configuration using an ignition promoter in hydrogen fuel. Nevertheless, the combination of boundary layer separation induced inlet choking and limited operating pressure levels prevented realization of the thrust potential of the fuel. This problem may be alleviated by recent increases in the shock tunnel operating pressures, and by promising research involving inlet injection of the fuel. Research on the drag component of the net thrust equation resulted from the development of a fast response skin friction gauge. It was found that existing theories of turbulent boundary skin friction predicted the skin friction when combustion of hydrogen occurred outside the boundary layer, but combustion within the boundary layer dramatically reduced the skin friction. Finally, for the first time in the world, supersonic combustion was produced in a free flight experiment. This experiment validated shock tunnel results at stagnation enthalpies near 3 MJ/kg
Keyword scramjets
shock tunnel
free flight supersonic combustion
hypersonic propulsion
turbulent boundary layers
shock tunnel instrumentation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown
Additional Notes Originally published as R.J. Stalker, A. Paull, D.J Mee, R.G. Morgan and P.A. Jacobs (2005) Scramjets and shock tunnels: The Queensland experience, Progress in Aerospace Sciences 41 (6): 471-513. doi:10.1016/j.paerosci.2005.08.002 Copyright 2005 Elsevier. All rights reserved. Single copies only may be downloaded and printed for a user's personal research and study.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Mechanical & Mining Engineering Publications
2006 Higher Education Research Data Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 32 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 73 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 09 Jan 2006, 10:00:00 EST by David J Mee on behalf of School of Engineering