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# Aerodinamica Ipersonica / Hypersonic Aerodynamics

Introduction

Hypersonic Aerodynamics
A fluid flowing faster than the speed of sound (Mach>1 ) is a supersonic flow.
A hypersonic flow is a flow moving many times faster than the speed of sound (Mach >>1).
Anyway, theres not a tangible hypersonic speed barrier above which the flow changes from being barely supersonic
to hypersonic. The adjective hypersonic is used to indicate a supersonic flow moving so fast that some new and
particular phenomena occur. The study of such phenomena is the object of this course.
As the definition of hypersonic flow is little bit fuzzy, theres not a precise Mach number that sets the lower bound of
the hypersonic regime. In general, we can speak of hypersonic flows when the free-stream Mach number is larger
than a value ranging from 5 to 7.
The interest in hypersonic flows comes from the fact that the mankind is interested in building vehicles which are
capable of flying very fast. Hypersonic flight can be conceived as a mean to move payloads and/or people within the
Earth atmosphere in very short times and it is also the flight regime that characterizes the entry in a planetary
atmosphere (terrestrial of extraterrestrial).
Thus, before diving into the study of hypersonic aerodynamics (or gasdynamics, in case a gas different from air is
concerned), we will start to consider those vehicles, real or just conceptual, that make hypersonic flows important.

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## Aerodinamica Ipersonica / Hypersonic Aerodynamics

Introduction

Historical firsts
February 24, 1949 White Sands test range, USA
V-2 / WAC Corporal - > first meaningful attempt to demonstrate the use of a multistage rocket for
achieving high velocities and high altitudes
First stage: V-2, 100 miles (160 km), 3500 mph (1565 m/s)
Second Stage: WAC Corporal, record altitude of 244 miles (393 km), then back in the atmosphere at
5000 mph (2235 m/s), faster than Mach 5

## April 12, 1961 Baikonur cosmodrome, USSR

Vostok I: Major Yuri Gagarin is the first man to fly in space, to orbit the earth and safely return. He
is also the first human being in history to experience hypersonic flight, entering the atmosphere
at M > 25

## May 5, 1961 Cape Canaveral, FL, USA

Freedom 7: Alan B. Shepard, second man in space by virtue of a suborbital flight over the Atlantic Ocean,
entering the atmosphere at M > 5

## June 23, 1961 Edwards AFB, CA, USA

X-15: Major Robert White flies the X-15 airplane at Mach 5.3

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Introduction

## Classes of hypersonic vehicles: I. winged Re-entry Vehicles (RV)

Buran (USSR)
X-38 (USA)

Herms (Europe)
Hope-X (Japan)
Space Shuttle (USA)

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Introduction

## Classes of hypersonic vehicles: II. Cruise and acceleration vehicles (CAV)

with airbreathing propulsion
Snger
(Germany)
Air Force HyTech (USA)

Ksc_111804_x43_launch.rm

## STAR-H (ESA, Europe)

Politecnico di Torino DIASP D. D
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Introduction

## Classes of hypersonic vehicles: III. Ascent and re-entry (ARV)

with air-breathing (and rocket) propulsion

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## Classes of hypersonic vehicles: Planetary Entry Capsules (I)

Example #1:
Apollo Earth entry capsules

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Introduction

## Classes of hypersonic vehicles: Planetary Entry Capsules (II)

Example #2:
Stardust Sample Return Capsule (SRC)

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Introduction

## Classes of hypersonic vehicles: Planetary Entry Capsules (III)

Example #3:
Orion Crew Exploration vehicle (CEV):
Crew Module

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Introduction

## Classes of hypersonic vehicles: Planetary Entry Capsules (IV)

Example #2:
Mars entry capsule

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Introduction

## Classes of hypersonic vehicles: Planetary Entry Capsules (V)

Example #3:
Huygens: Titan entry capsule

Huygens descent
sequence

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Introduction

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