To accomplish the NAL mission, we combine modern theoretical modeling with state-of-the-art facilities, instruments, and computational methods. Brief overviews of the major laboratory resources are given below. For more information, see our publications or contact us directly.
The Mach 6 Quiet Tunnel (M6QT)
M6QT is a seminal low-disturbance facility that transitioned from NASA Langley to TAMU for fundamental studies of boundary layer stability and transition. The M6QT has quiet Reynolds number range is 3.0 – 11.0 million per meter and has a nozzle exit diameter of 0.18 m. This facility has a run time of 40 seconds with a 2.5 hour duty cycle.
The Hypervelocity Expansion Tunnel (HXT)
The HXT is a large-scale true enthalpy hypervelocity facility developed within the NAL. The facility provides total enthalpies up to 30 MJ/kg. The facility tube diameter is 0.5 m and has a 0.92 m nozzle exit. The overall length of the facility is 30. m and the run time is 0.3 – 3.0 msec.
The Actively Controlled Expansion (ACE) Hypersonic Tunnel
ACE is a unique large-scale continuously variable Mach number (5-8) facility developed at TAMU to study turbulent and transitional flows using modern laser diagnostics. The Reynolds number range is 0.5 – 7.0 million per meter. The nozzle exit is 0.23 m x 0. 36 m; the run time is 40 sec, and the duty cycle is 2.5 hours.
Dynamic Stall Facility (DSF)
Unsteady aerodynamic DSF consists of test section liners for the TAMU Oran Nicks Low-Speed Wind Tunnel to achieve higher Mach numbers and hydraulic apparatus to pitch wings at frequencies up to 10 Hz. The facility is used to study dynamic stall at realistic flight Mach (0.1 – 0.4) and chord Reynolds numbers (1.0 – 4.0 million).
Utilzation and development of moden instrumentation are important aspecst of our research. We utilize these instruments quantify flow structure and unexplored mechanisms ranging from non equilibrium molecular effects to fundamental hydrodynamics. The instrumentation includes: Optical Emission Spectroscopy, Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV), Molecular Tagging Velocimetry (MTV), Planar Laser-Induced Fluorescence (PLIF), Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Spectroscopy (CARS), Raman and Emission Spectroscopy, Multiple-overheat hot-wire anemometry (HWA), Pressure sensitive paint (PSP), Temperature sensitive paints (TSP), Conventional schlieren, Focusing schlieren w/ deflectometry, High-speed photography, Infrared thermography, and Kulite and PCB Pressure Transducers. We have also pioneered a new Vibrationally-excited NO Monitoring (VENOM) technique for combined MTV and 2-line PLIF thermometry to enable direct measurement of the turbulent heat flux. A new dual plane system (VENOM2) is under development to provide 3-D velocimetry and a more complete quantification of the thermodynamic state.
We utilize large scale computations to examine the intricate details of the flow structure, design experiments and test physical models. A suite of in-house and commercial simulation and visualization software are used to chariacterize flow structure, verify mathematical model performance, and aid in experimental design.