Sunday, September 27, 2015
Book Review: Hypersonic Aerothermodynamics
Washington, D.C.: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1994
Category: Aerospace Engineering
As aircraft move deeper into the supersonic realm, many of the assumptions that engineers might have taken for granted at subsonic or even lower supersonic Mach numbers, begin to fall into disarray. As the air becomes superheated, passing through the high-strength shock waves around the aircraft, reentry vehicle or missile, it begins to deviate more and more from the ideal gas laws that so many of us have come to know and love. In this high temperature environment, there is no longer a separation between aerodynamics, and thermodynamics. You cannot model the one without the other. Even the chemical composition of the air begins to change, as the molecules break-down to become high-temperature plasma.
This book is intended as an introduction to this flight regime, aimed at helping to reorient the engineer into the mathematics and physical modeling that are needed to design high speed aircraft, missiles, or re-entry vehicles. As such, it forms the foundation for a journey, which for those who must design under these flight conditions, will become a fascinating road with fresh challenges, and new phenomena that were ignored at less strenuous flight conditions. All told, a great start for further learning.