This paper describes the experimental and numerical investigations of unknown characteristics of the rotational nonequilibrium phenomena behind a strong shock wave in air. Experiments were carried out using a piston-driven shock tube with helium as driving gas and air as driven (test) gas, operated as a two-stage shock tube. In the experiments, emission spectra of NO were measured to evaluate the rotational temperature behind a strong shock wave. The numerical calculations use the computational code for the thermal and chemical nonequilibrium flow behind a strong shock wave developed by the present author's group, where 11 chemical species (N , O , NO, N, O, N , O , NO , N , O , e ) and 48 chemical reactions of high-temperature air are considered. The thermal nonequilibrium is expressed by introducing an 8 temperature model composed of translational temperature, rotational and vibrational temperatures for N , O , NO, and electron temperature. The coupling of a rotation, vibration and dissociation (CRVD) model was incorporated to take sufficiently into account the rotational nonequilibrium. The calculations were conducted for the same conditions as the experimental ones. From the calculated flow properties, emission spectra were re-constructed using the code for computing spectra of high temperature air "SPRADIAN". Furthermore, rotational and vibrational temperatures of NO (0,1) were determined from a curve fitting method and compared with the computed results.
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