Analysis of the flow patterns on the fore-body section of a sounding vehicle in the transonic regime

  • Ana Cristina Avelar
  • Edson Basso
  • João Batista Pessoa Falcão Filho
  • Cayo Prado Fernandes Francisco
  • Pedro Geovanny Martinez Romero
Technical Paper


The present study has the purpose of presenting a numerical and experimental analysis of the flow patterns on the fore-body section of a sounding rocket model in the transonic regime. The measurements were carried out in the Pilot Transonic Wind Tunnel, known as TTP, at the Instituto de Aeronáutica e Espaço (IAE), in São José dos Campos, Brazil, for Mach numbers ranging from 0.6 to 1.06 and zero angle of attack. The experimental techniques of pressure taps, pressure-sensitive paint (PSP) and schlieren visualization method were performed on a 1:34 scaled model of a sounding rocket. Complex phenomena as shock waves, boundary layer detachment, and expansion waves were clearly identified from the PSP pressure field and from the schlieren images. Good agreements between the PSP, pressure taps and numerical simulation results were observed, except around the tip of the model because of the curvature and also in details that were not captured by the camera.


Transonic Wind Tunnel Pressure-Sensitive Paint Sounding Rocket 



The first author thanks to the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) through the process 2014/06790-6 and National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) through the process 402233/2013-1 and 308829/2015-8 (DT). The authors thanks also FAPESP through the process 2013/23690-2, aimed at repairing the TTP compressor blades and CAPES trough Pró-estratégia Project num. 20, Edital 50/2011.


  1. 1.
    Becker JV (1980) The high-speed frontier: case histories of four NACA programs, 1920–1950, NASA SP-445, Washington, DC, p 16Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Liu T, Sullivan JP (2005) Pressure and temperature sensitive paints. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bell JH, Schrairer ET, Hand LA, Mehta RD (2001) Surface pressure measurements using luminescent coatings. Ann Rev Fluid Mech 33:155–206CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gregory JW, Asai K, Kameda M, Liu T, Sullivan JP (2008) A review of pressure sensitive paint for high speed and unsteady aerodynamics. Proc Inst Mech Eng Part G J Aerosp Eng 222(2):249–980CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Falcão Filho JBP, Avelar AC, da Reis MLC (2009) Historical review and future perspectives for pilot transonic wind tunnel of IAE. J Aerosp Technol Manag 1(1):19–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Barbosa AL, Guimarães LNF (2012) Multidisciplinary design optimization of sounding rocket fins shape using a tool called MDO-SONDA. J Aerosp Technol Manag 4(4):431–442. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Moraes P Jr (1998) Design aspects of the recoverable orbital platform SARA. In:Proceedings of 8th Chilean congress of mechanical engineering, Concepcíon, ChileGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Avelar AC, Falcão Filho JBP, Basso E, Romero MPG (2014) Experimental and numerical analysis of the flow patterns around a sounding rocket in the transonic regime. In: 32nd AIAA applied aerodynamics conference, 2014, AtlantaGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Avelar AC, Basso E, Falcao Filho JBP, Romero MPG (2014) Investigation of the flow patterns on a sounding rocket fore-body section. In: Proceedings of the 29th international congress of the international council of aeronautical sciences, 2014, San PetersburgGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    SAE (1990) Aerothermodynamic test instrumentation and measurement. Technical Report AIR 1168/5, Society of Automotive EngineersGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Pesetsky BV et al (1993) Optical surface pressure measurements: accuracy and application field evaluation. In: Paper 24 Proceedings AGARD CP535, Brussels, 73 fluid dynamics panelGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Liu T, Guille M, Sullivan JP (2001) Accuracy of Pressure-Sensitive Paint. AIAA J 39(1):103–112. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Mérienne M-C, Le Sant Y (2016) Reliable PSP application and data processing at low speed flow condition. In: 25th AIAA aerodynamic measurement technology and ground testing, 5–8 June 2016, San Francisco, CaliforniaGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Merzkirch W (2007) Density-based techniques. In: Tropea C, Yarin AL, Foss JF (eds) Springer handbook of experimental fluid mechanics, Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Dussauge JP, Gaviglio J (1987) The rapid expansion of a supersonic turbulent flow: role of bulk dilatation. J Fluid Mech 174:81–112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Van Dyke M (1982) An album of fluid motion. The Parabolic Press, StanfordGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Brazilian Society of Mechanical Sciences and Engineering 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de Aeronáutica de Espaço (IAE)São José dos CamposBrazil
  2. 2.Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica (ITA)São José dos CamposBrazil

Personalised recommendations