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Onboard Measurements for Hypersonic Flights


Problem Investigation of Onboard Measurement System of Hypersonic Flying Test Bed Intended to Attack Hypersonic Flight Problems

Tech Area / Field

  • SAT-AER/Aeronautics/Space, Aircraft and Surface Transportation

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Rudneva V Ya

Leading Institute
TsIAM (Aviation Motors), Russia, Moscow

Supporting institutes

  • Gromov Flight Research Institute, Russia, Moscow reg., Zhukovsky


  • Aérospatiale, France, Les Mureaux\nEuropean Space Agency, The Netherlands, Noordwijk

Project summary

The purpose of the present Project is to develop optimal scheme of onboard system of parameter measurements in flight of Hypersonic Flying Test Bed (HFTB) designed to attack hypersonic flight problems. Onboard measurement system is the key element in attainment of flight experiment final goal, i.e. acquisition of measurement information about physical processes occurring in hypersonic flight.

One of the main problems of civil aviation development and expansion of commercial use of space in early XXI century is the hypersonic flight in atmosphere mastering. Real conditions of hypersonic flight can not be completely simulated in ground conditions. Therefore, only flight experiment can provide database for computational investigation results verification. For this purpose, experimental pilotless hypersonic flying vehicles, designated, as Hypersonic Flying Test Beds (HFTB) are required.

CIAM in collaboration with Aerospatiale (France) has carried out a set of flight tests of "Kholod" HFTB in 1988 - 1994. Hypersonic flight velocity of Mf = 5.8 was reached in these flights. Onboard measurement system incorporating about 250 transducers measuring various physical parameters in course of flight operated at "Kholod" HFTB. Transducers signals were converted and transmitted by onboard telemetry station to ground receiving stations of proving ground. Unique results were originally obtained from these measurement data; in particular, they concern with scramjet performance at various modes of supersonic combustion. These results have attracted widespread attention of specialist.

As of now, gliding Hypersonic Flying Vehicles (HFV) with flight Mach number exceeding Mf =15 are being developed in many countries. This work is impossible without detailed knowledge of physical processes occurring at these velocities. To obtain an advance in this knowledge and in corresponding technology, hypersonic flights of special small-scale pilotless hypersonic flying vehicles designated as HFTB are now planned by specialists of a set of countries (USA, Japan, France). This new HFTB has to be configured with radically new multipurpose onboard measurement system.

France and Russia firms have jointly elaborated small-scale hypersonic flying vehicle conception. This small-scale hypersonic flying vehicle is not-too-high expensive, and its characteristic features are:

- flight can be accomplished both actively and passively;
- small-scale hypersonic flying vehicle will be placed to autonomous gliding flight path by using small launcher;
- small-scale hypersonic flying vehicle executes gliding flight along prescribed flight path;
- vehicle has to be saved through use of parachute recovery system.

Aerospatiale and CIAM have already developed HFTB design and estimated optimal flight program taking into account flight path and flow around hypersonic flying vehicle. This was made within the scope of their intrinsic work and some small contracts.

Proposed project is aimed at study on development of on-board measurement system for HFTB, including multifactor analysis of various methods and tools for hypersonic flow parameters measurements to determine their use possibility and expediency in onboard measurement system.

Within the framework of proposed Project, it is planned:

- to fulfill computation investigations of flow over HFTB airframe and the phenomena of from-laminar-to-turbulence transition in boundary layer in hypersonic flight with the aim to determine optimal positioning of pressure and temperature measurements on the fuselage, and to determine optimal number of transducers;
- to carry out comparative analysis of possibility to use various design gages of loads, pressure, and temperature for HFTB onboard measurement system with taking into account real flight conditions;
- to develop technique and gear for measuring real thrust of an engine similar to scramjet integrated with airframe;
- to develop special tool for recording combustion efficiency of the engine.

Experimental test plants and test benches of CIAM are suggested to be used for experimental investigations. They are capable of simulating flight conditions up to Mf=8, equipped with electric and fire heater of air with compensating oxygen of heated air, unique measurement system incorporating special equipment for radicals "OH" radiation recording, precision measurements of engine thrust. Devices mockups and instruments are planned to be manufactured by CIAM factory with use of available components and technology advance in these lines. To carry out computation investigations, proposed Projects executors have at their disposal up-to-date personal computers, including Pentium Pro 200.

High professional skill scientists, engineers, and technicians of CIAM which have got the experience in preparing and conducting "Kholod" HFTB flights, in development and preparing its measurements system to flights, obtained in flight tests data processing and interpretation, and the highest professional skill specialists in the field of numerical simulation of hypersonic gas flows incorporating physical and chemical transformations will be employed in work on Project. So, the Project fulfillment results will be promising for their use in Hypersonic Technology development.

As it was mentioned above, the work on hypersonic flight in atmosphere mastering are being carried out in many countries. So, the results of work on Project undoubtedly will attract considerable interest of the specialists, especially, of USA, France and Japan firms. The most close collaborations are expected to be with Aerospatiale. This collaboration will consist in joint considering investigations results, their publicizing at international conferences and using in real ASP construction.

Collaborators from Research and Development Institutes, private companies and inpidual experts from USA, EC, Japan, Norway, and South Korea are invited to participate in the Project. The results discussion and analysis, generalization and preparing for publication are proposed for collaborators participating.


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