Instability and transition measurements in the Mach-6 quiet tunnel

Brad M. Wheaton, Thomas J. Juliano, Dennis C. Berridge, Amanda Chou, Peter L. Gilbert, Katya M. Casper, Laura E. Steen, Steven P. Schneider, Heath B. Johnson

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

69 Scopus citations


The Boeing/AFOSRMach-6 Quiet Tunnel achieved quiet flow to a stagnation pressure of 163 psia in Dec. 2008, the highest value observed so far. It remains quiet at pressures above 160 psia. Under noisy conditions, nozzle-wall boundary-layer separation and the associated tunnel shutdown appear to propagate slowly upstream, whereas under quiet conditions, the propagation is very rapid. A new diffuser insert has been designed, fabricated, and installed in the tunnel in order to start larger blunt models and increase run time. A flared cone with a circular-arc geometry was designed to generate large second-mode N factors under quiet flow conditions. When the computed N factor was 13, large instability waves were measured under quiet flow conditions using fast pressure sensors, but the flow remained laminar. Transition was observed only under noisy conditions. A laminar instability was detected in the wake of an isolated roughness element in the boundary layer on the nozzle wall; this appears to be the first such measurement at hypersonic speeds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication39th AIAA Fluid Dynamics Conference
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc.
ISBN (Print)9781563479755
StatePublished - 2009

Publication series

Name39th AIAA Fluid Dynamics Conference


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