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Conceptual design for an electron-beam heated hypersonic wind tunnel

By R.J. Lipinski and R.P. Kensek


There is a need for hypersonic wind-tunnel testing at about mach 10 and above using natural air and simulating temperatures and pressures which are prototypic of flight at 50 km altitude or below. With traditional wind-tunnel techniques, gas cooling during expansion results in exit temperatures which are too low. Miles, et al., have proposed overcoming this difficulty by heating the air with a laser beam as it expands in the wind-tunnel nozzle. This report discusses an alternative option of using a high-power electron beam to heat the air as it expands. In the e-beam heating concept, the electron beam is injected into the wind-tunnel nozzle near the exit and then is guided upstream toward the nozzle throat by a strong axial magnetic field. The beam deposits most of its power in the dense air near the throat where the expansion rate is greatest. A conceptual design is presented for a large-scale system which achieves Mach 14 for 0.1 seconds with an exit diameter of 2.8 meters. It requires 450 MW of electron beam power (5 MeV at 90 A). The guiding field is 500 G for most of the transport length and increases to 100 kG near the throat to converge the beam to a 1.0-cm diameter. The beam generator is a DC accelerator using a Marx bank (of capacitors) and a diode stack with a hot cathode. 14 refs. 38 figs., 9 tabs

Topics: 42 Engineering Not Included In Other Categories, Beam Production, Beam Injection Heating, 43 Particle Accelerators, Wind Tunnels, Electron Beam Injection, Gas Analysis, Hypersonic Flow, Configuration, Energy Absorption
Publisher: Sandia National Laboratories
Year: 1997
DOI identifier: 10.2172/522724
OAI identifier:
Provided by: UNT Digital Library
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