Hingham, MA and Ft Collins, CO September 13, 2022: Dynavac, a leading provider of custom high-vacuum systems and equipment is pleased to participate in Colorado State University’s supersonic research.   Dynavac donated a 1.5-meter vacuum chamber which serves as a main component of the supersonic wind-tunnel under development at CSU.  The facility will be used for researching supersonic propulsion, including ignition inside a supersonic stream, flame holding, and flame stabilization.

The wind tunnel will generate high-speed flows reaching Mach 2.5.  The in-draft design is based on the energy stored as a pressure difference between a low-pressure chamber and the outside atmosphere.  During operation, air flowing from the atmosphere through a converging-diverging nozzle (like that of a rocket engine), accelerates to supersonic speeds.  The experiment is conducted in a test section placed after the nozzle, and the high-velocity airflow than comes to rest in the low-pressure chamber.  The capacity of the Dynavac vacuum chamber allows several hundred milliseconds of supersonic conditions, typical of most existing supersonic wind tunnels.  The CSU system is a modular design that can be adapted for higher Mach numbers in the future.

Compared to typical blowdown supersonic tunnels, which employ a high-pressure tank at the inlet, the indraft tunnel offers several key advantages:

  • Low-cost due to its simplicity
  • Constant stagnation temperature and pressure throughout the test time
  • Lower noise levels
  • Increased safety of vacuum operation (no high-pressure regulators and fast response relief values required)

Dynavac is honored to contribute to this exciting project and the research at Colorado State University.


Image credit: NASA