High-quality facilities are critical to success of any experimental research group; our two hypersonic wind tunnels are currently in the design/construction phases, but should be fully operational by late 2017.


The Hypersonic Tunnel for Educational and Research Purposes (HyperTERP) originally started life as a shock tube built by an intrepid group of undergraduate honors students as a class project. It is currently being converted into a reflected shock tunnel equipped with a Mach 6 free-jet nozzle. Run in tailored-interface mode, it will be capable of reservoir temperatures and pressures up to approximately 1500 K and 25 atmospheres. Initially it will be used for testing free-flight articles under hypersonic conditions, and for diagnostic development. In the future this tunnel will also be adapted into a direct-connect configuration for scramjet combustion tests by interchanging the nozzle and test section. The tunnel is supplied by a driver section 3m in length (extendable to 6m for increased test times) and a driven secton 6m in length. The Mach 6 test section will measure 48cm x 30cm x 30cm, and will allow for ready optical access and pressure/temperature measurements of test articles. HyperTERP is expected to be completed in Summer 2017.


HAPL has received funding through a DURIP (Defense University Research Instrumentation Program) grant from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) to develop a unique facility for the accurate simulation of hypersonic flows. The Pre-Heated Ludwieg tube with Isentropic Compression (PHLIC) will make use of a pre-heated Ludwieg tube combined with a free-piston compression stage to achieve stagnation temperatures well above those achievable in conventional cold hypersonic tunnels: targeted reservoir conditions are 1850 k and 60 atmospheres, which will be sufficient to accurately simulate Mach 6.5 flight at 27 km altitude. The facility will also be equipped with a Mach-8 nozzle, which will allow larger test articles (nozzle-exit diameter 45 cm, compared to 30 cm at Mach 6.5), though sacrificing the ability to match both flight Mach number and enthalpy simultaneously. The first stage of the PHLIC facility is expected to be operational by late 2017.

AEDC Hypervelocity Wind Tunnel 9

The Air Force's Tunnel 9 in White Oak is one of the major hypersonic testing and evaluation facilities in the nation. Generating flows up to Mach 14, Tunnel 9 is capable of extremely high Reynolds numbers and has a 5 foot diameter test section, spacious enough for large test articles. Through a formal collaboration between Tunnel 9 and UMD, students may have the opportunity to be involved with diagnostic development and major experimental campaigns in Tunnel 9. Previous and ongoing studies include Mach-10 and -14 boundary-layer transition experiments on a pitching cone, and investigations of Mach-10 turbulent boundary layers and shock-wave/boundary-layer interactions. More information on Tunnel 9 can be found here.