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Turbulent/Laminar Flow


Experimental investigation of transition of supersonic boundary layers relevant to high speed air transportation.

Tech Area / Field

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

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Tocheny L V

Leading Institute
Siberian Branch of RAS / Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (ITPMech), Russia, Novosibirsk reg., Novosibirsk

Supporting institutes

  • VNIITF, Russia, Chelyabinsk reg., Snezhinsk


  • Rockwell International Corporation / Rockwell Science Center, USA, CA, Thousand Oaks

Project summary

Laminar-turbulent transition in supersonic boundary layers is important for the design of laminar flow control systems for the proposed High Speed Civil Transport. The Institute of Applied Mechanics (ITAM) in Novosibirsk, Russia, leads the world in the field of supersonic laminar instability experiments. Proposed experiments on the instability/receptivity of supersonic boundary layers/entropy layer/separation are to be carried out in ITAM. The models are to be constructed in Novosibirsk and tested in their Mach 2 supersonic wind tunnel. This tunnel is known for its flow quality and has been used for much of the respected work in this area. The experiments will be a continuation of work previously carried out by this group. The results will be disseminated in archival journals. Continuing cooperation with the other members of the team is planned. Enhanced communication between the Novosibirsk group and the rest of the team will accelerate advances in the field. This investigation represents conversion of the scientific and technical potential of Russia from military to peaceful endeavors.

The ITAM team has been chosen carefully to provide the necessary technical, business, and marketing support to successfully meet the ISTC goals. The U.S. participant is Rockwell International's Science Center. It has been responsible for advances in fluid dynamics used in the advanced aircraft designs of Rockwell's North American Aircraft pision. ITAM, the Russian participant, has performed leading edge experimental research in high speed transition.

Rockwell Science Center has already funded experiments in TsAGI's T-28 wind tunnel in Moscow. This ISTC project will provide the seed funding to provide comparable technology advances in boundary layer transition.

Rockwell will contribute to the project by providing technical consulting, program planning, coordination, application surveys, product evaluation and marketing. Rockwell anticipates that this project will form the basis for long-term continued collaboration between Rockwell and the Russian participants.

VNIITF (Ch-70) will participate in the numerical simulation of the basic flows used in the stability and transition prediction analyses in this effort as well as interpretation of the experiments. VNIITF (Ch-7)'s extensive experience in modeling high speed multicomponent gas mixture fluid dynamics problems positions it well to make this contribution.

This three-year project has well-defined goals consistent with the schedule and funding. The overall plan has been structured carefully with separate but related subtasks, intermediate milestones, and major project reviews. This plan will allow the ISTC to continually monitor progress to ensure that the project will meet each of its goals. This project will augment technical and business relationships that currently exist between each of the participants. ITAM will provide overall project management to the effort.

This project will help the ISTC achieve its objectives of

• Aiding the transition to a market based economy by positioning Russia as a leader in high speed civil aircraft technology.

• Supporting technology development for peaceful purposes by using the military technology for design of commercial high speed aircraft.

• Promoting integration of weapons scientists into the international scientific community by using the military aircraft and missile designers of Russia.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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