DIRECT MEASUREMENT OF VELOCITY DISTRIBUTION FUNCTIONS.
GENERAL ELECTRIC CO PHILADELPHIA PA MISSILE AND SPACE DIV
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A method for measuring velocity distribution functions in rarefied gas flows was investigated. The technique is a direct determination, accurate to within one percent, which does not significantly disturb the flow under investigation. It is shown that accurate measurements can be made of the Doppler profile of emission lines excited by an electron beam. The method depends upon the tendency of high energy electrons to transfer relatively little momentum to the nuclei when they excite the electronic levels of gas molecules. The technique presented could be used in the study of normal shock waves and other investigations in rarefied gas dynamics research. Author