Vortex dynamics in supersonic mixing flows
Maddalena, Luca Aerodynamics Research Center, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas.
Vergine, Fabrizio Aerodynamics Research Center, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas.
- Reduced-order model
- Simulations, experiments, and comparisons
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The effectiveness of supersonic combustion is crucial for the development of air-breathing hypersonic vehicles. The current effort is to transition from technological demonstrators (that is, the X-43A or the X-51 WaveRider) that are small-scale flight vehicles [4.5 kg/s (10 lb/s) or less of airflow] to larger engine sizes (45 kg/s or 100 lb/s), with the final goal of reaching full-scale, hypersonic air-breathing-based vehicle technology. This technology would be a “game changer” for commercial hypersonic flight and affordable reusable space transportation systems. Decades of studies have been devoted to the understanding of the fundamental physics of the combustion processes in supersonic combustion ramjet (scramjet) engines. However, many complications still arise in the design of practical scramjet combustors. Among these is the achievement of efficient fuel-air mixing in the extremely short residence times of the supersonic flow in the engine (typically milliseconds). Enhanced mixing and rapid combustion imply an increase in combustion efficiency and a reduction of the combustor length, thus reducing the skin-friction drag and increasing the net thrust. For cycle efficiency purposes, the process must also induce low total pressure losses. See also: Hypersonic flight; Hypersonic vehicles; Scramjet
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