Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

Gary A. Flandro

Committee Members

Trevor Moeller, John S. Steinhoff


A computer model of a blow-down free-jet hypersonic propulsion test facility exists to validate facility control systems as well as predict problems with facility operation. One weakness in this computer model is the modeling of an air ejector diffuser system. Two examples of facilities that could use this ejector diffuser model are NASA Langley Research Center's 8-ft High Temp. Tunnel (HTT) and the Aero-Propulsion Test Unit (APTU) located at Arnold Engineering Development Center. Modeling an air ejector diffuser system for a hypersonic propulsion test facility includes modeling three coupled systems. These are the ejector system, the primary free-jet nozzle that entrains secondary airflow from the test cell, and the test article. Both of these facilities are capable of testing scramjets/ramjets at high Mach numbers. Compared with computer simulation data, experimental test cell pressure data do not agree due to the current modeling technique used.

An improved computer model was derived that incorporates new techniques for modeling the ejector diffuser. This includes real gas effects at the ejector nozzles, flow constriction due to free-jet nozzle and ejector plumes, test article effects, and a correction factor of the normal shock pressure ratio in a supersonic diffuser. A method was developed to account for the drag and thrust terms of the test article by assuming a blockage factor and using a drag coefficient*Area term for both the test article and thrust stand derived from experimental data. An ideal ramjet model was also incorporated to account for the gross thrust of the test article on the system.

The new ejector diffuser model developed improved the accuracy and fidelity of the facility model as compared with experimental test data while only negligibly affecting computational speed. Comparisons of the model data with experimental test data showed a close match for test cell pressure (within 1 percent for final test cell pressure). The model accurately simulated both the unstarted and started modes of ejector flow, in which test cell pressure increases with nozzle total pressure once in started mode.

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