The NASA Langley M6QT provides the low-disturbance environment required for meaningful hypersonic stability experiments. The facility was originally part of the Langley Hypersonic Facility Complex (Chen et al. 1991; Blanchard et al. 1997). The tunnel has a 7.25 inch diameter exit nozzle, with a Mach number of 5.91. The tunnel was reactivated in the Texas A&M University National Aerothermochemistry Laboratory (TAMU-NAL) in 2005. A test section was designed and constructed at TAMU and installation was completed in 2008. The tunnel is operational and flow quality testing is underway.
The M6QT currently operates in a pressure-vacuum blow-down mode. The vacuum is achieved via a Fox-brand 2-Stage air ejector with a mass flow rate of 25 kg/sec. The air supply for the ejector is provided by a 23.5 m3 air receiver charged to 160 atm. Two Chicago Pneumatic air compressors (500 SCFM) are used to charge the tank, which requires approximately 2.5 hrs between each run. The air is dried to −50°C with a Donaldson-brand twin tower desiccant drier. The pressure side of the operation is also provided by the above system. A Chromaloxbrand 0.5 MW electric air heater is used to heat the test gas to up to 530 K. The TAMU installation run times are sufficient to obtained detailed velocity profiles via hot-wire anemometry.
The available instrumentation at TAMU includes a 3D traverse mechanism for hotwires and total pressure, high-frequency Kulite differential pressure transducers, a variety of constant temperature/voltage anemometers (TSI IFA 300, Dantec 55M, and 30 channels of A.A. Lab Systems AN-1003 with enhanced low-noise amplifiers and DC offset functionality) two FLIR infrared thermography (8-9μm and 3-5μm) cameras, a multispectral imaging camera (near IR), ISSI-brand pressure/temperature sensitive paint, custom developed molecular-tagging velocimetry (Hsu et al. 2009) and planar-laser-induced fluorescence (Bowersox et al. 2008) systems, and custom developed systems for coherent anti-Stokes Raman spectroscopy.