Introduction to Hypersonic Flows

In the previous chapters, compressibility effects are covered, particularly in the transonic regime where the Mach number is close to one. For very high Mach number flows, the situation is different, see Fig. 12.1. The details required for the analysis and design of hypersonic vehicles used in a space program, are both useful and interesting.

The study, in this chapter, is however very limited in its scope. it covers small disturbance theories, hypersonic similitude and similarity parameters as well as blunt body problems (with detached shocks) and theoretical and computational methods for both inviscid and viscous flows at very high velocities.

There are many references available in this field, old and new. For books, see [1-15], for review articles and proceedings, see [16-33] and for numerical methods and solutions, see [34-40]. The purpose here is to give an overview for the reader with emphasis on the main relevant concepts.