Experimental investigation and theoretical considerations of boundary layer transition of the hemisphere at low wall-to-stagnation temperature ratios

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute


The present investigation was undertaken to determine experimentally whether or not instability of the laminar boundary layer on blunt convex bodies exists when the wall-to-stagnation temperature is lowered. It was found that instability existed and theoretical considerations are given to the transition being associated with the formation of ice on the model surface and with an increase in roughness Reynolds numbers due to thinning of the laminar boundary layer at low wall-to-stagnation temperature ratios.

The experimental tests were conducted on two-inch diameter spheres at M = 4.95 and free-stream Reynolds numbers per foot of approximately 72. 5 x 10⁶ or 12.1 x 10⁶ based on the model base diameter. Data were obtained tor both the hot wall and cold wall case. The stagnation temperature was approximately 400° F. Initial model wall temperatures were 97°F, for the hot wall test and -320° F for the cold wall tests.