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)
Currently under development, HXT is a large-scale facility that provides total enthalpies up to 11 MJ/kg. The facility tube diameter is 0.5 m and will have 1.0 m nozzle exit. The planned nozzle exit Mach numbers are 9.0 and 15.0. The overall length of the facility is 36.5 m and the run time is O(ms).
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.
The Supersonic High-Reynolds (SHR) Tunnel
SHR is a smaller scale supersonic (M = 2.2, 3.0 and 5.0) facility with high Reynolds number capability (Re/m = 40 – 60 million). It was developed at TAMU for fundamental turbulent boundary layer research, scramjet fuel injector studies, and other high-speed experiments. The updated facility has a nozzle exit of 12.7 cm x 12.7 cm and has a ~10 minute tun time with 2.5 hour duty cycle.
Pulsed Hypersonic Test Cells
The Repetitively Pulsed Hypersonics Test (RPHT) Cell
The RPHT Cell is a small scale O(cm) facility developed to mature our laser diagnostic systems. The facility produces a continuous train of 10 msec pulses of high-speed flow (M = 3.0 – 6.2), which is synchronized to our Q-switched lasers. The duty cycle is 1 sec.
The Pulsed Hypersonic Adjustable Contoured Expansion Nozzle Aerothermochemistry Testing Environment (PHACENATE “fascinate”)
The PHACENATE facility is O(10 cm) variable Mach (3-7) facility to study non-equilibrium flows. The facility produces a continuous train of 30 msec pulses of high-speed flow (M = 4.5 – 6.0), which is synchronized to our Q-switched lasers. The duty cycle is 20 sec.
McKenna Flat Flame Burner
A McKenna Flat Flame Burner is used for high temperature diagnostic development. This burner has stainless steel outer housing, with a bronze water cooled porous sintered matrix.
Low-speed RF-Plasma (RFP) Tunnel
The RFP facility is a low pressure, recirculation channel flow wind tunnel, which was developed to study the effects of thermal non-equilibrium on turbulent and transitional flows. The facility is fitted with a 2.5 kW, 13.56 MHz RF power generator, which provides an opportunity to produced flows with significant amounts of vibrationally excited nitrogen.
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: 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. Our group has access to multiple million cpu-hour allocations via resource allocations at NSF-supported TeraGrid resources such as Ranger at TACC (UT Austin) and Kraken at NICS (U. Tenn./ORNL) as well as other DoE and DoD supported machines, which are among the most powerful supercomputers currently available to academic researchers in the world. In addition, we perform simulations on an in-house maintained 32-node cluster, larger department clusters, and TAMU supercomputers. 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.