Transition Research in the Mach 3.5 Low-Disturbance Wind Tunnel and Comparisons of Data with Theory 892379

Supersonic wind tunnels with much lower stream disturbance levels than in conventional tunnels are required to advance transition research. The ultimate objectives of this research are to provide reliable predictions of transition from laminar to turbulent flow on supersonic flight vehicles and to develop techniques for the control and reduction of viscous drag and heat transfer.
The experimental and theoretical methods used at NASA Langley to develop a low-disturbance pilot tunnel are described. Typical transition data obtained in this tunnel are compared with flight and previous wind-tunnel data and with predictions from linear stability theory,


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