Gas density field imaging in shock dominated flows using planar laser scattering

Joshua D. Pickles, Balachandra R. Mettu, Pramod K. Subbareddy, Venkateswaran Narayanaswamy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Planar laser scattering (PLS) imaging of ice particulates present in a supersonic stream is demonstrated to measure 2D gas density fields of shock dominated flows in low enthalpy test facilities. The technique involves mapping the PLS signal to gas density using a calibration curve that accounts for the seed particulate size distribution change across the shock wave. The PLS technique is demonstrated in a shock boundary layer interaction generated by a sharp fin placed on a cylindrical surface in Mach 2.5 flow. The shock structure generated in this configuration has complicating effects from the finite height of the fin as well as the 3D relief offered by the cylindrical surface, which result in steep spatial gradients as well as a wide range of density jumps across different locations of the shock structure. Instantaneous and mean PLS fields delineated the inviscid, separation, and reattachment shock structures at various downstream locations. The inviscid shock assumed increasingly larger curvature with downstream distance; concomitantly, the separation shock wrapped around the cylinder and the separation shock foot missed the cylinder surface entirely. The density fields obtained from the PLS technique were evaluated using RANS simulations of the same flowfield. Comparisons between the computed and measured density fields showed excellent agreement over the entire measurable region that encompassed the flow processed by inviscid, separation, and reattachment shocks away from viscous regions. The PLS approach demonstrated in this work is also shown to be largely independent of the seed particulates, which lends the extension of this approach to a wide range of test facilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number112
JournalExperiments in Fluids
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements Funding for this investigation has been provided by the Army Research Office under Grant W911NF-16-1-0072.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


Dive into the research topics of 'Gas density field imaging in shock dominated flows using planar laser scattering'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this