Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics


Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Steven P. Schneider

Committee Chair

Steven P. Schneider

Committee Member 1

Sally P. Bane

Committee Member 2

John P. Sullivan


The Boeing/AFOSR Mach-6 Quiet Tunnel at Purdue University has been able to achieve low-disturbance flows at high Reynolds numbers for approximately ten years. The flow in the nozzle was last characterized in 2010. However, researchers have noted that the performance of the nozzle has changed in the intervening years. Understand ing the tunnel characteristics is critical for the hypersonic boundary-layer transition research performed at the facility and any change in performance could have signif icant effects on research performed at the facility. Pitot probe measurements were made using Kulite and PCB pressure transducers to quantify the performance changes since characterization was last performed. Aspects of the nozzle that were investi gated include the radial uniformity of the flow, the effects that time and stagnation pressure have on the flow, and the Reynolds number limits of low-disturbance flows. Measurements showed that freestream noise levels are consistently around 0.01% to 0.02% for the majority of the quiet flow core, with quiet flow now achievable for Reynolds numbers up to Re = 13.0×10 6/m.

Additionally, while pitot probes are a widely used measurement technique for quantifying freestream disturbances, pitot probes are not without drawbacks. In order to provide a more complete methodology for freestream noise measurement other researchers have started experimenting with alternate geometries, such as cones. Using a newly designed 30° half-angle cone model, measurements were performed to quantify the freestream noise in the BAM6QT and compare the performance with another hypersonic wind tunnel. Also, measurements were made with three newly designed pitot sleeves to study the effects of probe geometry on freestream noise measurements. The results were compared to recent DNS calculations.