Hypersonic Boundary-Layer Stability and Transition to Turbulence

Abstract Prediction and control of the hypersonic boundary-layer transition from a laminar to a turbulent state are vital to developing future hypersonic systems – capable of reaching at least Mach 5, or approximately 3,800 mph.

The boundary-layer transition significantly impacts aerodynamic heating, drag force, and engine performance of highly maneuverable hypersonic systems operating at varying altitudes.

A fully turbulent flow assumption results in an excessive thermal protection system (TPS) weight in the design process. The design tools available to engineers still utilize basic engineering correlations developed from surface measurements of transition locations on wind tunnel models. However, the uncertainty of the transition location can be up to 300%.

Successful prediction and control of boundary-layer transition depend on a fundamental understanding of the underlying physical mechanisms of the hypersonic flow environment.

Kursat Kara
Kursat Kara
Assistant Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Dr. Kara is the principal investigator of the Kara Aerodynamics Research Laboratory at Oklahoma State University. He teaches the Fundamentals of Aerodynamics, Unsteady Aerodynamics, Computational Fluid Dynamics, and Quantum Computing. Previously, he was an assistant professor at Khalifa University, where he received the Faculty Excellence Award for Outstanding Teaching in 2015.