This paper describes a free‐piston driven expansion tube and its instrumentation. The facility is used to generate rarefied flows at speeds of approximately 10 km/s. Although the flow in the tube itself is in the continuum regime, rarefied flow conditions are achieved by allowing the test gas to further expand as a free jet into the facility's test section. The test flow is surveyed to provide bar‐gauge pressure measurements. Numerical simulation is then used to describe more fully the test flow properties. The flows produced are suitable for the aerodynamic testing of small models at superorbital speeds and should provide data that are suitable for the calibration of Direct Simulation Monte‐Carlo codes.
International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 1, 2004
Keywords: Rarefied flow; Expansion tube; Computational modelling; Modelling; Flow; Numerical analysis