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Emission Spectral Measurements in the Plenum of an Arc Jet Wind TunnelArc jet wind tunnel facilities are used to evaluate thermal protection system materials for re-entry vehicles. The high speed, high temperature flowfield generated by the arc jet can simulate the extreme aerodynamic heating environment experienced during re-entry so that the survivability of heat shield materials and performance of various designs options can be tested. Although the re-entry heating environment can be approximated in the arc jet facility, the flowfield only partially simulates the actual re-entry flight conditions. Reynolds numbers are not matched so that surface shear stress distributions and mass transfer rates due to ablation or other mechanisms are not modeled correctly. Unlike flight conditions the arc freestream air is in non-equilibrium because of the rapid expansion that occurs in the supersonic nozzle. To properly study the actual re-entry flow environment, computational fluid dynamics, computational chemistry and radiation models must be used. Arc jet tunnel tests serve to validate these models. To perform accurate simulations inlet and boundary-conditions are needed, which come from measurements of the flowfield. The present study is concerned with measurements in the plenum region of an arc heater. In the past, conditions in the arc heater flowfield have been predicted using simulations since conventional measurement techniques could not be used in the harsh extremely high temperature environment. The present study is part of a recent push to utilize optical techniques to help better characterize the arc jet flowfields. Emission measurements have been made in the shock layer and the constrictor section of the arc heater to determine temperatures and species number densities. LIF measurements have been made in the free stream to determine temperature and velocity.
Document ID
Document Type
Donohue, Jim (Santa Clara Univ. CA United States)
Fletcher, Doug (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA United States)
Date Acquired
August 17, 2013
Publication Date
October 1, 1996
Subject Category
Research and Support Facilities (Air)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle19970010146Analytic Primary1996 NASA-ASEE-Stanford Summer Faculty Fellowship Program
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