# Subsonic tunnel

Low speed wind tunnels are used for operations at very low mach number, with speeds in the test section up to 400 km/h (~ 100 m/s, M = 0.3). They may be of open-return type (see figure below), or closed-return flow (see figure below) with air moved by a propulsion system usually consisting of large axial fans that also increase the dynamic pressure to overcome the viscous losses.

Open wind tunnel

Schematic of Eiffel type open wind tunnel. The working principle is based on the continuity and Bernoulli's equation: The continuity equation is given by:

The Bernoulli equation states:

Putting Bernoulli into the continuity equation gives:

The contraction ratio of a windtunnel can now be calculated by:

Closed wind tunnel

4 < M < 0. but now for isentropic flow gives: The 1-D area-velocity is known as: The minimal area A where M=1. In a return-flow wind tunnel the return duct must be properly designed to reduce the pressure losses and to ensure smooth flow in the test section. The compressible flow regime: Again with the continuity law.75 < M < 1. The highest speed is reached in the test section. mainly due to the reflection of the shock waves from the walls of the test section (see figure below or enlarge the thumb picture at the right). The Mach number is approximately one with combined subsonic and supersonic flow regions. Large scale facilities and/or pressurized or cryogenic wind tunnels are used. also known as the sonic throat area is than given for a perfect gas: Transonic tunnel File:Transonic tunnel. Transonic wind tunnels are able to achieve speeds close to the speeds of sound. perforated or slotted walls are required to reduce shock reflection from the walls. . Therefore. Testing at transonic speeds presents additional problems.75) or transonic wind tunnels (0.jpg Slotted test section of a transonic wind tunnel High subsonic wind tunnels (0.Closed circuit or return flow low speed wind tunnel.2) are designed on the same principles as the subsonic wind tunnels. Since important viscous or inviscid interactions occur (such as shock waves or boundary layer interaction) both Mach and Reynolds number are important and must be properly simulated.

Otherwise: • • • Subsonic (M < 1) then Sonic throat (M = 1) where Supersonic (M >1 ) then converging diverging Conclusion: The Mach number is controlled by the expansion ratio A supersonic wind tunnel is a wind tunnel that produces supersonic speeds (1. Therefore a high pressure ratio is required (for a supersonic regime at M=4. a convergent-divergent nozzle is required.de Laval nozzle Main article de Laval nozzle. this ratio is of the order of 10). condensation of moisture or even gas liquefaction can occur if the static temperature becomes cold enough. If an acceleration to supersonic flow is required. Apart from that. This follows from the 1-D areaVelocity equation. Contents • 1 Restrictions for supersonic tunnel operation . The Reynolds number is varied by changing the density level (pressure in the settling chamber).2<M<5) The Mach number and flow are determined by the nozzle geometry. A supersonic wind tunnel has a large power demand. This means that a supersonic wind tunnel usually needs a drying or a pre-heating facility. so that most are designed for intermittent instead of continuous operation. the flow can be accelerated or slowed down. With a sonic throat.

For this reason most wind tunnels operate intermittently using energy stored in high-pressure tanks. and are seldom used because they are restricted to low Reynolds numbers. one is shown in the photo. Some large countries have built major supersonic tunnels that run continuously. Other problems operating a supersonic wind tunnel include: • • • • starting and unstart of the test section (related to maintaining at least a minimum pressure ratio) adequate supply of dry air wall interference effects due to shock wave reflection and (sometimes) blockage high-quality instruments capable of rapid measurements due to short run times in intermittent tunnels . These wind tunnels are also called intermittent supersonic blowdown wind tunnels (of which a schematic preview is given below).2 Temperature effects: condensation 2 Power requirements 3 Further reading 4 See also o o 5 External links Restrictions for supersonic tunnel operation Minimum required pressure ratio Optimistic estimate: Pressure ratio the total pressure ratio over normal shock at M in test section: Examples: Temperature effects: condensation Temperature in the test section: with = 330K: = 70K at =4 The velocity range is limited by reservoir temperature Power requirements The power required to run a supersonic wind tunnel is enormous.• • • • 1. of the order of 50 MW per square meter of test section cross-sectional area. Another way of achieving the huge power output is with the use of a vacuum storage tank. These tunnels are called indraft supersonic wind tunnels.1 Minimum required pressure ratio 1.

Initially. or opening the valve respectively. the pressure in the nozzle and tube is high. To start the tunnel. search Ludwieg Tube installation with a dump tank (left). Contents • • • • • 1 Principle 2 History 3 See also 4 References 5 External links Principle A Ludwieg tube is a wind tunnel that produces supersonic flow for short periods of time. With heating. and low power requirements. whose cross-sectional area is significantly larger than the throat area of the nozzle..Tunnels such as a Ludwieg tube have short test times (usually less than one second). Mach numbers of up to 11 can be reached. the diaphragm is ruptured. a shock wave propagates into the low-pressure region (here the dump tank) and . by piercing it with a suitable cutting device.g. Mach numbers up to 4 are easily obtained without any additional heating of the flow. e. A large evacuated dump tank is separated from the downstream end of a convergent-divergent nozzle by a diaphragm or fast acting valve. Jump to: navigation. nozzle and test section (center) and expansion tube (right) A Ludwieg tube is a cheap and efficient way of producing supersonic flow. As always when a diaphragm ruptures. relatively high Reynolds number. The upstream end of the nozzle connects to a long cylindrical tube.

having been reflected from the far end of the tube. flow times are about 100 milliseconds for most Ludwieg tubes. Professor Ludwieg was also responsible for the experimental demonstration and explanation of the large effect of sweep on the drag of transonic wings (his dissertation in 1937) A hypersonic wind tunnel is designed to generate a hypersonic flow field in the working section. this flow duration is sufficient. experimentation times of up to 6 seconds can be achieved.[1] For many purposes. these types of tunnels must run intermittently with very high pressure ratios when initializing. The speed of these tunnels vary from Mach 5 to 15. arrives at the nozzle again. For practical reasons.[2] History The Ludwieg Tube was invented by Hubert Ludwieg (1912-2000) in 1955 in response to a competition for a transonic or supersonic wind tunnel design that would be capable of producing high Reynolds number at low operating cost. Since the . The flow is steady until the expansion. As with supersonic wind tunnels.an expansion wave propagates into the high-pressure region (here the nozzle and the long tube). by taking advantage of multiple quasistatic flows between expansion wave reflections. it sets up a steady subsonic flow toward the nozzle. However. which is accelerated by the convergent-divergent nozzle to a supersonic condition. As this unsteady expansion propagates through the long tube.

1 Pa. a membrane separates the compressed air from the gun barrel breech. A rifle (or similar) is used to rupture the membrane.5 km/s. preheating is particularly critical (the nozzle may require cooling). but has a very low running time (less than a second). The high pressure gas is separated by the vacuum by a diaphragm that breaks down as its resistance is exceeded. the air in front of the projectile emerges at hypersonic velocity into the working section. Naturally the duration of the test is extremely brief. For that reason.temperature drops with the expanding flow. which can be used for analysis of flows past ballistic missiles. so high speed instrumentation is required to get any meaningful data. Hot shot wind tunnel One form of HWT is known as a Gun Tunnel or hot shot tunnel (up to M=27). High pressure and temperature ratios can be produced with a shock tube. the temperatures of the hot gas are up to 5000 K. and a pressure of 3 GPa (see discussion). forcing a small projectile to accelerate rapidly down the barrel. the free encyclopedia . space vehicles in atmospheric entry. It runs intermittently. while pressures in the vacuum chamber can be as low as 0. the air inside has the chance of becoming liquefied. The method of operation is based on a high temperature and pressurized gas (air or nitrogen) produced in an arc-chamber. This means that the pressure ratios of these tunnels are in the order of 10 million. Compressed air rushes into the breech of the gun barrel. Shock tube From Wikipedia. 45 km altitude would require tunnel temperatures of as much as 9000 K. Although the projectile is prevented from leaving the barrel. and plasma physics or heat transfer at high temperatures. and a near-vacuum in the remaining part of the tunnel. Also. Contents • • • • 1 Technological problems 2 Hot shot wind tunnel 3 See also 4 External links Technological problems There are several technological problems in designing and constructing a hyper-velocity wind tunnel: • • • • • supply of high temperatures and pressures for times long enough to perform a measurement reproduction of equilibrium conditions structural damage produced by overheating fast instrumentation power requirements to run the tunnel Simulations of a flow at 5. like other high speed tunnels. Prior to a test run commencing. The arc-chamber can reach several MPa. The arc chamber is mounted in the gun barrel.

The tubes themselves were constructed of low-cost materials and produced shock waves with peak dynamic pressures of 7 MPa to 200 MPa and durations of a few hundred microseconds to several milliseconds. see Shock tube detonator An idealized shock tube. Contents • • • • • • 1 History 2 Operation 3 Applications 4 See Also 5 References 6 External links History An early study of compression driven shock tubes was published in 1899 by French scientist Pierre Vieille. More recently. and expansion tunnels) can also be used to study aerodynamic flow under a wide range of temperatures and pressures that are difficult to obtain in other types of testing facilities. shock tubes have been used in biomedical research to study how biological specimens are affected by blast waves. The plot shows different waves which are formed in the tube once the diaphragm is ruptured. interest revived and shock tubes were increasingly used to study the flow of fast moving gases over objects. the chemistry and physical dynamics of gas phase combustion reactions. search For the pyrotechnic initiator.[1][2] A shock wave inside a shock tube may be generated by a small explosion (blast-driven) or by the buildup of high pressures which cause diaphragm(s) to burst and a shock wave to propagate down the shock tube (compressed-gas driven).Jump to: navigation. usually on a smaller scale. Shock tubes are also used to investigate compressible flow phenomena and gas phase combustion reactions. though the apparatus was not called a shock tube until the 1940s. The shock tube is an instrument used to replicate and direct blast waves at a sensor or a model in order to simulate actual explosions and their effects. Duff and Blackwell[4] described a type of shock tube driven by high explosives. .6 to 2 m and in length from 3 m to 15 m.[3] In the 1940s. expansion tubes. In 1966. Shock tubes (and related impulse facilities such as shock tunnels. These ranged in diameter from 0.

The driver gas is usually chosen to have a low molecular weight. The low-pressure gas. • • • A mechanically-driven plunger is sometimes used to pierce it or an explosive charge may be used to burst it. Blast-driven shock tubes generate pressure waves that are more realistic to free-field blast waves. rectangular or circular in cross-section. Plastics are used for the lowest burst pressures. the smaller size and lower peak pressures generated by these shock tubes make them most useful for preliminary. the shape of the pressure wave is different from a blast wave in some important respects and may not be suitable for some applications. The high pressure gas is known as the driver gas. This blast wave increases the temperature and pressure of the driven gas and induces a flow in the direction of the shock wave but at . Yet another method of rupturing the diaphragm utilizes a mixture of combustible gases. To obtain the strongest shocks the pressure of the driven gas is well below atmospheric pressure (a partial vacuum is induced in the driven section before detonation). and Bradley. Operation A simple shock tube is a tube. validation of measurement equipment such as high speed pressure transducers. The shock that eventually forms increases the temperature and pressure of the test gas and induces a flow in the direction of the shock wave. aluminum and copper for somewhat higher levels and mild steel and stainless steel for the highest burst pressures. in which a gas at low pressure and a gas at high pressure are separated using some form of diaphragm. To date. producing a sudden and sharp increase in what may or may not be a pressurized driver. is subjected to the shock wave. However.[10] These diaphragms are frequently scored in a cross-shaped pattern to a calibrated depth to ensure that they rupture evenly. See.Both compression-driven and blast-driven shock tubes are currently used for scientific as well as military applications.[5] Because the molar volume of gas is much less. laboratory scale shock tubes driven by fuel-air mixtures have been developed that produce realistic blast waves and can be operated in more ordinary laboratory facilities. in addition to the initial pressure wave. Also. usually constructed of metal. Compressed-gas driven shock tubes are more easily obtained and maintained in laboratory conditions. for instance. Observations can be made in the flow behind the incident front or take advantage of the longer testing times and vastly enhanced pressures and temperatures behind the reflected wave. with high speed of sound.[6][7][8] The diaphragm suddenly bursts open under predetermined conditions to produce a wave propagating through the low pressure section. The corresponding sections of the tube are likewise called the driver and driven sections. (e. with an initiator designed to produce a detonation within it. Another method is to use diaphragms of plastic or metals to define specific bursting pressures.. referred to as the driven gas. More recently. and for biomedical research as well as military applications. however. they require facilities and expert personnel for handling high explosives. contouring the petals so that the full section of the tube remains open during the test time. the jet effect is a fraction of that for compressed-gas driven shock tubes. but may be slightly diluted to 'tailor' interface conditions across the shock. helium or hydrogen) for safety reasons. texts by Soloukhin. The test begins with the bursting of the diaphragm. Gaydon and Hurle. a jet effect caused by the expansion of compressed gases (compression-driven) or production of rapidly expanding gases (blast-driven) follows and may transfer momentum to a sample after the blast wave has passed. nondestructive testing of materials.g.[9] Several methods are commonly used to burst the diaphragm.

This allows an extreme rapid reduction (quench) in temperature of the heated gases. shock tubes can be used as a tool used to both create and direct blast waves at a sensor or an object in order to imitate actual explosions and the damage that they cause on a smaller scale. is referred to as the contact surface and follows.lower velocity than the lead wave. travels back in to the driver gas. allowing higher temperatures and pressures therein [14] replicating conditions in the turbine sections of jet engines. so that they compress into a shock propagating through the driven gas. The fluid flow in the driven gas can be used much as a wind tunnel. The bursting diaphragm produces a series of pressure waves. a rarefaction wave. Results from shock tube experiments can be used to develop and validate numerical model of the response of a material or object to a blast wave. A 'Chemical Shock Tube' involves separating driver and driven gases by a pair of diaphragms designed to fail after pre-determined delays with an end 'dump tank' of greatly increased crosssection. Simultaneously. often referred to as the Prandtl-Meyer wave. with an added nozzle and dump tank. across which a limited degree of mixing occurs. the lead wave. They have been further developed into shock tunnels. The results can then be incorporated into designs to protect structures and people that might be exposed to a blast wave. again with limited testing times.[15] Shock tubes have been developed in a wide range of sizes. test times are limited to a few milliseconds. either by the arrival of the contact surface or the reflected shock wave. separates driven and driver gases. . each increasing the speed of sound behind them. Thus. The interface. across which a limited degree of mixing occurs. The size and method of producing the shock wave determine the peak and duration of the pressure wave it produces. The interface. This shock wave increases the temperature and pressure of the driven gas and induces a flow in the direction of the shock wave but at lower velocity than the lead wave. Shock tubes can be used to experimentally determine which materials and designs would be best suited to the job of attenuating blast waves. at a lower velocity. Applications In addition to measurements of rates of chemical kinetics shock tubes have been used to measure dissociation energies and molecular relaxation rates[11] [12] [13] they have been used in aerodynamic tests. separates driven and driver gases is referred to as the contact surface and follows. the lead wave. at a lower velocity. Shock tubes are also used in biomedical research to find out how biological tissues are affected by blast waves. However. The resultant high temperature hypersonic flow can be used to simulate atmospheric re-entry of spacecraft or hypersonic craft.