Visualisation of supersonic compressible flows using the Background Oriented Schlieren (BOS) technique is presented. Results from experiments carried out in a reflected shock tunnel with models of a 20-degree semi-vertex angle circular cone and a re-entry body in the test section are presented. This technique uses a simple optical set-up consisting of a structured background pattern, an electronic camera with a high shutter speed and a high intensity light source. Tests were conducted with a Mach 4 conical nozzle, with nozzle supply pressure of 2 MPa and nozzle supply temperature of 2000 K respectively. The images captured during the test were compared using PIV style image processing code. The intensity of light at each point in the processed image was proportional to the density at that point. Qualitative visualization of shock shapes, with images clearly indicating regions of subsonic and supersonic flows was achieved. For the cone, the shock angle measured from the BOS image agreed with theoretical calculations to within 0.5 degrees. Shock standoff distances could be measured from the BOS image for the re-entry body
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