Application of a 20 kW arc-heated wind tunnel to evaluation tests of wall catalysis

Makoto Hirakawa, Ken Ichi Abe, Michio Nishida, Ken Ichiro Takeishi, Masaaki Matsuura

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7 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes the performance characteristics of a 20 kW-class arc-heated wind tunnel and the investigation of material catalysis as an application of this facility. First of all, stagnation heat fluxes and pressures are measured in high-enthalpy air and nitrogen arc jets that are generated by a constrictor-type arc heater. Total enthalpies of the arc jets are estimated based on Pope's theory. The total enthalpies are 7.5-22 MJ/kg for nitrogen and 13-19 MJ/kg for air. The operation envelope of this arc-heated wind tunnel and the applicable conditions for reentry simulation or the thermal protection tests are discussed based on the experimental results. Finally, as an application of this arc-heated wind tunnel, evaluation tests of wall catalysis have been attempted by the use of two flat-faced cylindrical models equipped with two kinds of specimens of catalytic material. The evaluation tests are composed of heat flux measurements and spectroscopic measurements. It is found that there is a certain difference in obtained heat fluxes between the two catalytic materials. Emission spectra from a shock layer formed in front of the model are measured, and wall catalysis is discussed based on the spectra measurements. The results show the existence of catalytic wall effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-223
Number of pages7
JournalTransactions of the Japan Society for Aeronautical and Space Sciences
Issue number150
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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