Flow Characterization Studies of the 10-MW TP3 Arc-Jet Facility: Probe Sweeps
46th AIAA Thermophysics Conference
This paper reports computational simulations and analysis in support of calibration and flow characterization tests in a high enthalpy arc-jet facility at NASA Ames Research Center. These tests were conducted in the NASA Ames 10-MW TP3 facility using flat-faced stagnation calorimeters at six conditions corresponding to the steps of a simulated flight heating profile. Data were obtained using a conical nozzle test configuration in which the models were placed in a free jet downstream of the
... nstream of the nozzle. Experimental surveys of arc-jet test flow with pitot pressure and heat flux probes were also performed at these arc-heater conditions, providing assessment of the flow uniformity and valuable data for the flow characterization. Two different sets of pitot pressure and heat probes were used: 9.1-mm sphere-cone probes (nose radius of 4.57 mm or 0.18 in) with null-point heat flux gages, and 15.9-mm (0.625 in) diameter hemisphere probes with Gardon gages. The probe survey data clearly show that the test flow in the TP3 facility is not uniform at most conditions (not even axisymmetric at some conditions), and the extent of non-uniformity is highly dependent on various arc-jet parameters such as arc current, mass flow rate, and the amount of cold-gas injection at the arc-heater plenum. The present analysis comprises computational fluid dynamics simulations of the nonequilibrium flowfield in the facility nozzle and test box, including the models tested. Comparisons of computations with the experimental measurements show reasonably good agreement except at the extreme low pressure conditions of the facility envelope.