Supersonic aerothermoelastic experiments of aerospace structures

S. Michael Spottswood, Benjamin P. Smarslok, Ricardo A. Perez, Timothy J. Beberniss, Benjamin J. Hagen, Zachary B. Riley, Kirk R. Brouwer, David A. Ehrhardt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory Structural Sciences Center recently started an experimental campaign in the Arnold Engineering Development Center von Kármán Facility Tunnel C to investigate the aerothermoelastic (combined aerodynamics, heat transfer, and structural mechanics) behavior of a flight-weight stiffened aerostructure at high-supersonic flow conditions. Optical measurement techniques were employed to record simultaneously the panel deformation (three-dimensional digital image correlation), panel surface temperature, and the boundary-layer state/ dynamics (high-speed schlieren and Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor). Panel transient behavior, including a dynamic snap-through event, was captured using these full-field measurement techniques. Importantly, panel surface deformation on the order of 8 mm, or five times the panel thickness, was realized. Maximum pressure and heat flux amplifications of about 1.7 and 1.5, respectively, were measured/estimated across a rigid article that mimicked, and closely matched, the expected thin panel deformation. The unique results and knowledge gained from this campaign will be provided to the aerospace community for the purpose of calibrating and validating coupled aerothermoelastic simulation methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5029-5048
Number of pages20
JournalAIAA journal
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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