The research interests of the UNSW Canberra Hypersonics and High-Speed Flows group range from improving our understanding of the fundamental physical and chemical processes in the flows associated with high-speed aircraft and planetary entry to the development and testing of the technologies required to achieve practical hypersonic flight. This research will help us to understand and control the extreme conditions associated with high-speed flight. The technologies we have developed in our investigations of hypersonic flows have had applications in many other areas, including biomedical sensing and modelling, air speed measurements for commercial aircraft and the measurement and simulation of component performance in gas turbines.
We investigate these processes using a combination of experimental, analytical and computational expertise. Experimentally, we combine our hypersonic free-piston shock tunnel and supersonic wind tunnel facilities with laser-based flow diagnostics capable of measuring gas temperatures, velocities and species concentrations, and highly sensitive, high-speed flow visualisation. Computationally, we work on both Navier Stokes and direct simulation Monte Carlo modelling of rarefied and continuum hypersonic flow.
In addition to our laboratory facilities, we are actively involved in putting advanced instrumentation on hypersonic flight vehicles, including diode laser absorption spectroscopy systems, temperature-sensitive paints, and sophisticated electronic sensing systems for the measurement of heat flux. We have collaborated on the HyShot, HyCAUSE, HIFiRE, SCRAMSPACE and HEXAFLY-International hypersonic test-flight programs.
Our group currently consists of 5 academics, three postdoctoral fellows, a research engineer and 15 graduate students as well as dedicated technical staff. We currently receive funding from the Australian Research Council, Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG), the United States Air Force and the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.