Theoretical study of plasma effect on a conical shock wave

S. P. Kuo, Steven S. Kuo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Experiments conducted previously in a Mach 2.5 wind tunnel showed that localized plasma generated by an on-board 60 Hz electric discharge in front of a 60° cone-shaped model considerably increases the shock angle of the attached shock generated by the cone model. Based on the measured power and cycle energy of the electric discharge, the estimated peak and average temperature enhancements were too low to justify the heating effect as a possible cause of the observed shock wave modification. In this work, a theory also using a cone model as the shock wave generator is presented to explain the observed plasma effect on the shock wave. Through electron-neutral elastic collisions and ion-neutral charge transfer collisions, plasma generated in front of the baseline shock front can deflect the incoming flow before it reaches the cone model; such a flow deflection modifies the structure of the shock wave generated by the cone model from a conic shape to a slightly curved one. The shock remains to be attached to the tip of the cone; however, the shock front moves upstream to increase the shock angle, consistent with the experimental results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number033505
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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