Estimation of inflow uncertainties in laminar hypersonic double-cone experiments

J. Ray, S. Kieweg, D. Dinzl, B. Carnes, V. G. Weirs, B. Freno, M. Howard, T. Smith, I. Nompelis, G. V. Candler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

13 Scopus citations


We propose a probabilistic framework for assessing the consistency of an experimental dataset, i.e., whether the stated experimental conditions are consistent with the measurements provided. In case the dataset is inconsistent, our framework allows one to hypothesize and test sources of inconsistencies. This is crucial in model validation efforts. The framework relies on statistical inference to estimate experimental settings deemed untrustworthy, from measurements deemed accurate. The quality of the inferred variables is gauged by its ability to reproduce held-out experimental measurements; if the new predictions are closer to measurements than before, the cause of the discrepancy is deemed to have been found. The framework brings together recent advances in the use of Bayesian inference and statistical emulators in fluid dynamics with similarity measures for random variables to construct the hypothesis testing approach. We test the framework on two double-cone experiments executed in the LENS-XX wind tunnel and one in the LENS-I tunnel; all three have encountered difficulties when used in model validation exercises. However, the cause behind the difficulties with the LENS-I experiment is known, and our inferential framework recovers it. We also detect an inconsistency with one of the LENS-XX experiments, and hypothesize three causes for it. We check two of the hypotheses using our framework, and we find evidence that rejects them. We end by proposing that uncertainty quantification methods be used more widely to understand experiments and characterize facilities, and we cite three different methods to do so, the third of which we present in this paper.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA Scitech 2019 Forum
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624105784
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
EventAIAA Scitech Forum, 2019 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Jan 7 2019Jan 11 2019

Publication series

NameAIAA Scitech 2019 Forum


ConferenceAIAA Scitech Forum, 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


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