Modern “non-intrusive” optical methods are providing revolutionary capabilities for diagnostics of hypersonic flow fields. They generate accurate information on the performance of ground test facilities and provide local time accurate measurements of near-wall and off-body flow fields surrounding hypersonic test articles. They can follow the true molecular motion of the flow and detect nonequilibrium states and gas mixtures. They can be used to capture a wide range of turbulent scales and can produce highly accurate velocity, temperature and density measurements as well as time-frozen images that provide intuitive understanding of flow phenomena. Recent review articles address many of these methods and their applications. The methods highlighted in this review are those that have been enabled or greatly improved by new, versatile laser systems, particularly including kHz rate femtosecond lasers and MHz rate pulse burst lasers. Although these methods can be applied to combusting environments, the focus of this review is on external high Mach number flows surrounding test articles and wind tunnel core flow properties. The high repetition rates enable rapid time evolving flows to be analyzed and enable the collection of large data sets necessary for statistical analysis. Future capabilities based on the use of atomic vapor filters and on frequency tunable, injection locked MHz rate lasers are promising.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Computational Mechanics
- Mechanics of Materials
- General Physics and Astronomy
- Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes