A mixed radiative-convective technique for the calibration of heat flux sensors in hypersonic flow

Esposito, Antonio and Lappa, Marcello and Pagliara, Rocco and Spada, Gennaro (2022) A mixed radiative-convective technique for the calibration of heat flux sensors in hypersonic flow. Fluid Dynamics and Materials Processing, 18 (2). pp. 189-203. ISSN 1555-2578 (In Press)

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    The ability to measure the very high heat fluxes that typically occur during the hypersonic re-entry phase of space vehicles is generally considered a subject of great importance in the aerospace field. Most of the sensors used for these measurements need to be checked periodically and re-calibrated accordingly. Another bottleneck relates to the need to procure thermal sources that are able to generate reliable reference heat fluxes in the range between 100 and 1000 kW/m2 (as order of magnitude). In the present study, a method is presented by which, starting from a calibration system with a capacity of approximately 500 kW/m2 only, heat fluxes in the range of interest for hypersonic applications are generated. The related procedure takes advantage of established standards for the characterization of a radiative heat flux. It also builds on the hybrid radiative-convective nature of typical hypersonic heat fluxes and the yet poorly explored possibility to use convective sources of heat to produce high-intensity fluxes. The reliability of such a strategy has been tested using a high enthalpy supersonic flow facility relying on an electric arc-heater and pure Nitrogen as work gas. Stagnation-point heat fluxes have been successfully measured (with reasonable accuracy) in the range between 600 and 1500 kW/m2 for values of the centerline enthalpy spanning the interval from to 6 to 24 MJ/kg.

    ORCID iDs

    Esposito, Antonio, Lappa, Marcello ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0835-3420, Pagliara, Rocco and Spada, Gennaro;