Development of a Total Enthalpy and Reynolds Number Matched Apollo Re-entry Condition in the X2 Expansion Tunnel

  • T. G. CullenEmail author
  • C. M. James
  • R. J. Gollan
  • R. G. Morgan
Conference paper


This paper reports on the development of an expansion tunnel condition based on the peak heating point of the Apollo 4 trajectory. Particular emphasis is placed on replicating the total enthalpy and post-shock Reynolds number of the flow such that representative re-entry heating rates are generated. An analytical state-to-state facility model, PITOT, is used to perform the initial condition design using a secondary driver to increase performance. Deviations from ideal theory are seen when performing initial experiments, and no performance gain was evident using the secondary driver, possibly due to the thick Mylar secondary diaphragm. Nonideal facility performance is assessed and incorporated into the modelling whereupon a condition is chosen that closely matches the desired flow properties.



The first author would like to acknowledge the support of the Cooperative Research Centre for Space Environment Management (SERC Limited) through the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centre Programme. This research is also supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship.


  1. 1.
    J.J. Bertin, R.M. Cummings, Fifty years of hypersonics: Where we’ve been, where we’re going. Prog. Aerosp. Sci. 39(6), 511–536 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    B.R. Hollis, Blunt-body entry vehicle aerotherodynamics: Transition and turbulent heating. J. Spacecr. Rockets 49(3), 435–449 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    H. Tanno, T. Komuro, K. Sato, K. Itoh, Aeroheating measurements on capsule model with roughness in high enthalpy shock tunnel HIEST, in 2014 Asia-Pacific International Symposium on Aerospace Technology, Shanghai, 24–26, September 2014Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    R.C. Ried Jr, W.C. Rochelle, J.D. Milhoan, Radiative heating to the Apollo command module: Engineering prediction and flight measurement, NASA TM X-58091, 1972Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    D.E. Gildfind, Development of High Total Pressure Scramjet Flow Conditions Using the X2 Expansion Tube, Ph.D. Dissertation, Centre for Hypersonics, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland, Australia, 2012Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    H.G. Hornung, 28th Lanchester memorial lecture – Experimental real-gas hypersonics. Aeronaut. J. 92(920), 379–389 (1988)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    D. Kliche, C. Mundt, E.H. Hirschel, The hypersonic Mach number independence principle in the case of viscous flow. Shock Waves 21(4), 307–314 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    C. James, D. Gildfind, S. Lewis, R. Morgan, Implementation of a state-to-state analytical framework for the calculation of expansion tube flow properties, 2017, submitted to Shock Waves (2016)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    D.E. Gildfind, C.M. James, P. Toniato, R.G. Morgan, Performance considerations for expansion tube operation with a shock-heated secondary driver. J. Fluid Mech. 777, 364–407 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    M. Wegener, M. Sutcliffe, R. Morgan, Optical study of a light diaphragm rupture process in an expansion tube. Shock Waves 10(3), 167–178 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    H. Mirels, Test time in low-pressure shock tubes. Phys. Fluids 6(9), 1201–1214 (1963)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. G. Cullen
    • 1
    Email author
  • C. M. James
    • 1
  • R. J. Gollan
    • 1
  • R. G. Morgan
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of QueenslandSt LuciaAustralia

Personalised recommendations