Experimental Study of the Unstart/Restart Process of a Two-Dimensional Supersonic Inlet Induced by Backpressure

Document Type : Regular Article


Science and Technology on Scramjet Laboratory, College of Aerospace Science and Engineering, National University of Defense Technology, Changsha, Hunan, 410073, People’s Republic of China



Unstart/restart phenomena induced by backpressure in a general inlet with a freestream of M = 2.7 are investigated in an in-draft supersonic quiet wind tunnel. The boundary layers are turbulent on the forebody while are laminar on the lip wall, which could mimick real flight conditions. The high-speed Schlieren imaging system and the nanoparticle-based planar laser scattering (NPLS) method are used to visualize the inlet flowfield. The inlet wall pressure is measured by high-frequency pressure transducers. The backpressure is reproduced by downstream transverse jets other than mechanical throttlers, which is more suitable to mimic backpressure caused by combustion. The high spatio-temporal resolution full-view images of inlet flow features during the complete unstart/restart process are captured, which are seldom seen before. The formation and disappearance process of massive boundary layer separation at the entrance of the unstarted inlet is observed. The backpressure transmits upstream through the shock wave/boundary layer interaction (SWBLI) regions. The shock structures change the angles and merge upstream to balance the pressure rise. The Mach shock reflection configuration is observed in both unstart/restart process, accompanied by the boundary layer separation extending to the leading edge. The experiment also revealed notable hysteresis in the unstart/restart process.


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