Mach 10-20 Longshot Hypersonic Gun Tunnel


The VKI Longshot gun tunnel is a reference short-duration hypersonic wind tunnel designed to simulate Earth and Martian atmospheric (re-)entries in a near perfect gas environment.

It is used for aerothermodynamic investigations in the continuum regime requiring high Mach and extreme Reynolds numbers such as those experienced by orbital vehicles and space debris during their atmospheric flights. This unique worldwide facility is also used to address fundamental phenomena such as boundary layer laminar-to-turbulent transition, shock-boundary layer interactions, or viscous effects, among others. Given its perfect gas like environment, it is also an ideal wind tunnel for the validation of numerical codes. The facility finally benefits from advanced flow characterization techniques.

Main technical characteristics

• short-duration hypersonic wind tunnel
• Reservoir pressure as high as 400MPa
• Reservoir temperature of 2500K
• Total enthalpy of 3MJ/kg
• Mach 12 contoured nozzle (with an exit diameter of 426mm)
• Mach 14 contoured nozzle (with an exit diameter of 541mm)
• Mach 10-20 conical nozzle (with an exit diameter of 426mm)
• Reynolds number up to 10 millions/m
• Useful test times are on the order of 20 to 80ms

Operational Capacity

• High precision 6-axes positioning mechanism
• Thin-films and coaxial thermocouples for fast-response temperature/heat transfer measurements
• Piezoresistive/piezoelectric pressure sensors for ultra-fast measurements (up to 1MHz)
• 6 components balance
• Flow visualization techniques (Shadowgraph/Schlieren/LIF-based Schlieren) coupled with a high-speed camera
• High-precision amplifiers
• Simultaneous sampling of 80 channels at 500kHz, + 16 channels at 2500kHz
• free flight capability

Contact Information

Guillaume Grossir – Research Engineer