Microramp flow control of normal shock/boundary-layer interactions

Thomas Herges, Erik Kroeker, Greg Elliott, Craig Dutton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Boundary-layer bleed has conventionally been used to control separation due to shock wave/boundary-layer interactions within supersonic engine inlets. However, bleed systems result in a loss of captured mass flow, incurring higher drag and, ultimately, lower propulsion system efficiency. Microramp sub-boundary-layer vortex generators arranged in a spanwise array have been proposed in the past as a form of flow-control methodology for shock wave/ boundary-layer interactions. Experiments have been conducted herein at Mach 1.4 to characterize flow details of such devices and obtain quantitative measurements of their ability to control the interaction of a normal shock with a turbulent boundary layer. The flowfield was analyzed using schlieren photography, surface oil flow visualization, pressure-sensitive paint, and particle image velocimetry. An array of three microramps, for which the height was scaled to 36% of the incoming boundary-layer thickness, was placed ahead of the normal shock interaction. It was demonstrated that the microramps did entrain higher-momentum fluid into the boundary layer, which improved boundary-layer health. Specifically, the incompressible displacement thickness, momentum thickness, and shape factor were decreased, and the skin friction coefficient was increased, for the shock wave/boundary-layer interaction with the microramp array relative to the no-array case.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2529-2542
Number of pages14
JournalAIAA journal
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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