Researchers Testing Method to Build Temperature, Heat-Flux Sensors for Hypersonic Vehicles

UTA’s new arc-jet heated hypersonic wind tunnel (credit: University of Texas at Arlington).

UTA’s new arc-jet heated hypersonic wind tunnel (credit: University of Texas at Arlington).

October 8, 2019 | Source: Tech Xplore, techxpore.com, Jeremy Agor, 27 September 2019

Harsh environmental conditions—such as surface temperatures reaching thousands of degrees Fahrenheit—make it challenging to accurately measure temperatures and heat flux on hypersonic flight systems.

But a mechanical engineering associate professor at The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) believes a new additive manufacturing technology can withstand those conditions and may be used to provide reliable measurements.

With help from a Small Business Innovation Research grant from the Department of Defense, Panos Shiakolas is exploring ceramic and other non-metallic materials to fabricate novel advanced temperature and heat flux sensors.

Shiakolas is working with Luca Maddalena, a professor of aerospace engineering at UTA and an expert in hypersonic aerothermodynamics. Maddalena is also director of UTA's Aerodynamics Research Center and recently brought online a new arc-jet heated hypersonic wind tunnel that is the only one of its kind at a university in the United States.

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