Experiments in Fluids

, 60:23 | Cite as

Hypersonic boundary-layer separation detection with pressure-sensitive paint for a cone at high angle of attack

  • Carson L. Running
  • Hirotaka Sakaue
  • Thomas J. JulianoEmail author
Research Article


A measurement technique for identifying lee-side crossflow-induced boundary-layer separation on a blunt \(7^{\circ }\) half-angle circular cone at high angle of attack has been developed and tested. Previous work has shown that local minima in root-mean-squared (rms) pressure fluctuations on the surface are good identifiers of separation. These surface pressure fluctuations are measured with a temperature-corrected, high-frequency-response anodized-aluminum pressure-sensitive paint (AA-PSP). This AA-PSP was made in-house to provide the high frequency response required for this work. The sensor’s frequency response of 3 kHz proved to be fast enough to detect lines of local minimum rms pressure fluctuations indicative of separation on the lee side of the cone for angles of attack from \(9.8^{\circ }\) to \(15.8^{\circ }\). A shift in the separation location towards the windward side of the model was observed as angle of attack increased; however, the separation location converged to a constant azimuth for angles of attack greater than or equal to \(1.8\times\) the cone’s half angle.

List of symbols


Paint intensity (counts)


Mach number


Pressure (kPa)


Unit Reynolds number (/m)


Temperature (K)


Uncertainty (%)


Streamwise distance(\(x=0\) at the model tip) (mm)


Spanwise distance (\(y=0\) on the model centerline) (mm)


Angle of attack (\(^{\circ }\))


Cone half angle (\(^{\circ }\))


Gas concentration (\(\%\))


Azimuth (\(\phi =0^{\circ }\) along windward ray) (\(^{\circ }\))



Value based on calibration


Value based on camera


Reference condition


Root-mean-squared fluctuation


Value based on temperature dependence


Total value


Value based on uniformity


Value based on streamwise distance


Stagnation condition

Mean component


Fluctuating component


Freestream condition



The authors would like to thank Prof. Sergey Leonov and Prof. Seong-Kyun Im for allowing access to their jointly operated ACT-1 wind-tunnel facility. In addition, thanks goes out to Notre Dame undergraduate research assistants E. Farnan and Michael Thompson for their work investigating anodization techniques and developing the image mapping technique, respectively. Notre Dame graduate research assistants Harrison Yates and Daiki Kurihara assisted with the surface roughness and frequency response measurements, respectively.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carson L. Running
    • 1
  • Hirotaka Sakaue
    • 1
  • Thomas J. Juliano
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Aerospace and Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of Notre DameNotre DameUSA

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