Thermal Evaluation of the Initial Concept 3.X Vehicle at Mach 7




Dhanagopal, Abinayaa
Strasser, Nathan S.
Andrade, Angelina
Posladek, Kevin R.
Hoffman, Eugene N. A.
Combs, Christopher S.

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High-speed global surface temperature distributions and heat flux measurements on the Initial Concept 3.X vehicle (IC3X) model were investigated at the UTSA Mach 7 wind tunnel, examining angles of attack of 0° and 5° at a freestream unit Reynolds number (Re) ~7 × 106 m−1. A ruthenium-based, fast-responding, temperature-sensitive paint (fast-TSP) prepared in-house was applied to a 7.1% scale model of the vehicle. Static calibration was performed to convert the intensity measurements into surface temperature values. The surface temperatures and derived heat flux fields conformed to the predicted trends, which was corroborated by Schlieren flow visualization. Notably, the average surface temperature variation was identified to range from 6 to 34 K at a 0° angle of attack and from 11 to 44 K at a 5° angle of attack, with the most pronounced gradient detected at the stagnation point. Additional measurements provided a detailed thermal assessment of the model, including estimations of the stagnation point heat flux, the convective heat transfer coefficient, and the modified Stanton number. Statistical and time series analyses of the data collected revealed the absence of prevailing unsteady phenomena, suggesting that the tested design geometry is well suited for hypersonic flight applications. These experimental outcomes not only shed light on the aerothermodynamics experienced during high-speed flight but also underscore the effectiveness of fast-TSP in capturing both quantitative and qualitative thermal data.




Energies 17 (12): 2916 (2024)


Mechanical Engineering