Abstract

The development and evaluation of a small scale plasma driven shock tube is described in the current paper, as a new option to sensor characterization for dynamic flow measurements. The initiation of a high energy plasma discharge at one end of a quartz tube generates a shock wave that travels the length of the tube. The rate of shock generation is governed by the discharge energy and can easily be several tens of pulses per minute, instead of several pulses per day as with traditional diaphragm-based shock tubes. There is no contamination with solid particles at the test location, and rise times of the order of microseconds can be achieved. The energy release is controllable resulting in robust and repeatable operation. Lastly, the overall footprint of the plasma driven shock tube is small and ideal for frequent laboratory bench top operation.

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