Project Level:  Honours

The Centre for Hypersonics operates large experimental facilities that generate hypersonic flow which models the gas conditions experienced by space vehicles as they enter planetary atmospheres. These facilities are short duration (hundreds of microseconds) with long turn-around times (several hours) and hence it is important to develop appropriate measurements techniques to obtain as much quantitative data as possible in each test. One approach commonly used is emission spectroscopy. Light emitted from the hot test flow (typically 5000 – 8000 K) is spectrally-resolved and imaged using gated cameras and can be used to identify the radiating species in the flow and to determine the total radiative heat load. One challenge in operating these facilities is the presence of contaminants which become entrained in the test gas when operating the facility. While these contaminants can impact on the flow, they also offer an opportunity in that they can be probed to make a quantitative measurement of the flow temperature. This project will involve modelling the spectroscopy of the contaminant species and making comparisons between the model developed and spectral measurements taken in the X2 facility as part of the project. The ultimate goal is to develop an approach to measure flow temperature within the expansion tube facilities (including X2), and apply this to several flows of current interest.

Project members

Professor Tim McIntyre

Director of Teaching and Learning & Professor
School of Mathematics and Physics