Simulation of unsteady hypersonic combustion around projectiles in an expansion tube
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The temporal evolution of combustion flowfields established by the interaction between wedge-shaped bodies and explosive hydrogen-oxygen-nitrogen mixtures accelerated to hypersonic speeds in an expansion tube is investigated. The analysis is carried out using a fully implicit, time-accurate, computational fluid dynamics code that we recently developed to solve the Navier-Stokes equations for a chemically reacting gas mixture. The numerical results are compared with experimental data from the Stanford University expansion tube for two different gas mixtures at Mach numbers of 4.2 and 5.2. The experimental work showed that flow unstart occurred for both the Mach 4.2 cases. These results are reproduced by our numerical simulations and, more significantly, the causes for unstart are explained. For the Mach 5.2 mixtures, the experiments and numerical simulations both produced stable combustion. However, the computations indicate that in one case the experimental data were obtained during the transient phase of the flow; that is, before steady state had been attained.
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