A feedback controlled thermal wall plate designed to investigate thermal boundary layer flows is described and validated. The unique capabilities of the design are the ability to modify the thermal boundary conditions in a variety of ways or to hold the wall-temperature fixed even when the flow above the wall is unsteady and strongly three-dimensional. These capabilities allow for the generation and study of thermal transport in nonequilibrium boundary layer flows driven by different perturbations and of varying complexity. The thermal wall plate and the experimental facility in which the thermal wall plate is installed are first described. The wall-plate is then validated in a zero-pressure-gradient (ZPG) boundary layer flow for conditions of a uniform wall temperature and a temperature step. It is then shown that the wall temperature can be held constant even when a hemisphere body is placed on the wall that produces large localized variations in the convective heat transfer coefficient. Last, since the thermal wall plate is intended to support the study of thermal transport in a variety of nonequilibrium boundary layer flow, several possible experimental configurations are presented and described.

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