Jet interaction effects on a hypersonic interceptor
A series of experiments were undertaken at the Defence Evaluation Research Agency (DERA) Farnborough, within the Aero Physics group into the phenomenon called Jet Interaction (JI). Jet Interaction (JI) is produced by the interaction of a jet with the external flow around a vehicle. This study focused on investigating the effects of a divert thruster employed to provide a vehicle with a rapid divert capability on the external flow-field and on the induced forces and moments exerted on the vehicle by the jet. The research was based on studying the effects on a hypersonic interceptor sometimes referred to as a KKV (Kinetic Kill Vehicle). There are many important parameters in JI. One of these is the jet Amplification Factor (AF). This is caused by the deflection of the free-stream around and over the jet and results in a pressure increase on the vehicle surface which adds to the divert thrust force. The experiments were carried out in the intermittent hypersonic gun tunnel, at a free-steam Mach number of 12.1. This produced a Reynolds number (based on diameter) Red of 300,000 with a one-tenth scale vehicle; these conditions correspond to a full-scale vehicle flying at an altitude of 41 km. To simulate the divertthruster, nitrogen was supplied to the model through a purpose-made force balance. Measured forces ineluded normal, axial and side as well as pitch and yawing moments. The experimental results have been compared with that of a full size vehicle featuring a 2kN divert thruster. The results have then been matched to the effective altitude as a function of the thrust coefficient (Cr). This allows the experimental data to be interpreted for a full-scale vehicle in order to answer design questions important to system engineers. The results from this investigation show that the effectiveness of a divert jet is influenced by the vehicle's altitude, achieving a negligible increase in AF with a Cr > 2.5 at an altitude > 50 km. The seeker will suffer from jet induced problems at low Cr levels for a. = 10°. An increase in Cr causes the separation region in front of the jet to extend to the nose of the tested configuration for M1 = 12.1 while complete separation is achieved at Cr > 1.2. Injection Mach number (MJ) has a small influence on AF. However it does not influence the separation region. Penetration height (h) of the jet is increased for higher Mach number injection. Both AF and the separation region are influenced by nozzle geometry. A series of different nozzle geometries were tested. These had the effect of reducing the measured amplification factor to a maximum of 1, except for the dual circular orifice combination, which doubled the measured AF achieved for a single circular orifice. The influence of nozzle geometry reduced the Cr levels required to produce a negligible increase in AF and the corresponding altitude. The angle of attack (œ) has a strong influence on AF at low Cr levels, however it becomes negligible when complete separation is achieved.