Physics

Researchers measure wake of supersonic projectiles

Imaging technology has vastly improved over the past 30 years. It's been about that long since the flow coming off of the base of projectiles, such as ballistic missiles, has been measured. Researchers in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign used a modern measurement technique called stereoscopic particle image velocimetry to take high-resolution measurements of the complicated flow field downstream of a blunt-based cylinder moving at supersonic speeds, which is representative of a projectile or an unpowered rocket.