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Scramjet Combustion Processes

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Research into hypersonic flow phenomona has been conducted by numerous groups within Australia for over 40 years. The genesis of all the modern day work can be traced back to the return of the then Dr Ray Stalker from England, to take a faculty position in the Physics Department of the Australian National University, Canberra, in 1962. Dr Stalker had a keen interest in the aerodynamics of bodies travelling at speeds up to orbital velocity, and had devised a concept for generating such velocities in the laboratory through the use of a shock tunnel driven by free-piston compression. In the following years, Dr Stalker developed numerous facilities utilizing this concept, called free-piston shock tunnels, culminating in the commissioning of the T3 shock tunnel in 1968. A small group of researchers exploited the unique capabilities of T3, which was the first facility in which the product of test section density and model size, combined with the test section velocity, was such that the aerodynamic thermochemical phenomena generated at these elevated velocities were large enough to be measured. Bluff body shapes received early attention, as these shapes are typical of re-entry vehicles, and changes in the flow patterns due to dissociation thermochemistry were observed and analysed. Noting the interest in entry into the atmosphere of Mars, the bluff body studies were extended to include carbon dioxide flows, and because entry into the atmospheres of the large planets would involve ionisation, the effect of ionisation thermochemistry on bluff bodies was investigated. Dissociation thermochemical effects related to gliding re-entry vehicles also received attention, by studying the flow over an inclined flat plate, over a delta wing, and in the laminar boundary layer on a flat plate. The interaction of this boundary layer with a shock wave was also studied.

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  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Combustion and Ignition
  • Jet and Gas Turbine Engines

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