Alterations of Cowl Lip for the Improvement of Supersonic-Intake Performance


School of Mechanical Engineering, VIT University Vellore, Tamilnadu, 632014, India


This paper discusses the performance enhancement of supersonic air intake model through the implementation of blunted leading edge to the cowl lip section of the model. A supersonic air intake model with sharp cowl leading edge is initially considered to numerically investigate its performance. Mach 3, supersonic intake flow through the base model has been simulated using commercial CFD package Ansys Fluent-15. Comparison of numerical predictions and experimental measurements is presented to demonstrate the correctness and accuracy of numerical frame work followed in the present study. Higher order spatial accuracy of the solver along with suitably refined mesh helped in accurate capturing of the flow field. Modification to the cowl lip is proposed as an effective method to improve the performance of the supersonic air intake. Two different blunted cowl leading edge geometries were investigated to identify the possible enhancement in performance parameters. Improvement in mass capture and combustion stability attained through the use of forward shifted blunt cowl leading edge is presented. It is also revealed through the present study that the blunt cowl leading edge can reduce the intensity of shock wave boundary layer interaction occurring at the isolator entry section. Deviation in total pressure recovery and flow distortion observed with different supersonic air intake models are also discussed with reasons for the same. This study demonstrates the scope of overall improvement in scramjet engine performance through the use of suitably positioned blunt cowl leading edge.