Combined experimental and numerical investigation of electric-arc airspikes for blunt body at Mach 3

C. Misiewicz, L. N. Myrabo, M. N. Shneider, Y. P. Raizer

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

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Electric-arc airspike experiments were performed with a 1.25-inch diameter blunt body in the vacuum-driven Mach 3 wind tunnel at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Schlieren movies at 30-Hz frame rate were recorded of the airspike flowfields, revealing substantial evolution over the 6-second run durations. Arc powers up to 2-kW were delivered into the airspike by an arc-welding power supply, using zirconiated tungsten electrodes. Aerodynamic drag was measured with a piezo-electric load cell, revealing reductions up to 70% when the airspike was energized. The test article was a small-scale model of the Mercury lightcraft, a laser-propelled transatmospheric vehicle designed to transport one-person into orbit. Numerical modeling of this airspike is based on the Euler gasdynamic equations for conditions identical to those tested in the RPI supersonic tunnel. Excellent agreement between the shock wave shapes given by first-order asymptotic theory, numerical modeling, and experiment is demonstrated. Results of the numerical modeling confirm both the significant drag reduction potential and the energy efficiency of the airspike concept.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBEAMED ENERGY PROPULSION
Subtitle of host publicationThird International Symposium on Beamed Energy Propulsion
Pages528-541
Number of pages14
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 27 2005
Event3rd International Symposium on Beamed Energy Propulsion - Troy, NY, United States
Duration: Oct 11 2004Oct 14 2004

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
Volume766
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616

Conference

Conference3rd International Symposium on Beamed Energy Propulsion
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityTroy, NY
Period10/11/0410/14/04

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy

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