HORIZON has a significant collection of facilities that are used for high-speed aerothermodynamic research. The 8″ x 8″ Mach 2 tunnel is a blowdown facility inherited from previous research at UTSI. The 24″ x 24″ Mach 4 Ludwieg tube is one of the largest tunnels in academia. The 18″ x 18″ Mach 7 Ludwieg tube will be operational in early 2021, and will be significant resource for hypersonic research. The size of the Mach 4 and Mach 7 tunnels are intended help transition measurement techniques typically done in smaller tunnels (e.g. the Mach 2.3 facility) to larger facilities used in the testing and evaluation (T&E) phase of vehicle design. Scaling these techniques is typically challenging, and the Mach 4/7 facilities provide an intermediate scale to support this work.
Additionally, a Mach 6 blowdown facility is being constructed to support hypersonic research. The facility will have an estimated run time exceeding 30 seconds, and will be suitable for developing and testing diagnostic capabilities such as IR imaging, Temperature Sensitive Paint (TSP), and modern laser diagnostics. The long run times will also provide the capability to explore fluid-structure interactions.
The Mach 4, Mach 7, and future Mach 6 tunnels are all housed within the Tennessee Aerothermodynamics Laboratory (TALon). The close proximity of the facilities allows laser and other measurement tools to be easily shared.
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