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Flow velocity measurements using shock waves - the swing probe Strachan, James Douglas


The theory of shock propagation into inhomogeneous media has been extended to include continuous variations in the initial pressure, particle velocity, and energy sources appearing at the front. The one dimensional equations have been developed to allow a shock to be used as probe„ Shock waves which collide with unknown gas or plasma flow fields suffer a change in velocity. Pressure, density, particle velocity, and local energy input at the edge of an unknown flow can be determined from the measurement of the relevant fronts upon collision of the probing shock with the edge of the unknown flow. The steady variation of the velocity of strong probing shocks reveals details of the local flow velocity and density distributions inside the unknown flow field. The flow velocity of a T-tube plasma has been measured with typical accuracies of .1 Km/sec which Is about 10% of the velocity of the probing shock. The interpretation of the results invites a comparison of the T-tube flow with a breakdown wave in the high velocity regime and with a radiation driven shock in the low velocity regime

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