AIAA Paper 2005-1215. Presented at the 43rd AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, January 10, 2005, pages 1-8. This article is in the public domain. Published by American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Russell M. Cummings was on sabbatical leave from Cal Poly.
Determining the local stream thrust (a vector quantity) from a measured pitot pressure (a scalar quantity) requires either knowledge of the flow direction or a probe shape that compensates for flow direction. This compensation ideally would make the measured pressure directly proportional to the component of momentum along the probe axis. The flow angle sensitivity required to resolve this component of momentum was previously determined theoretically. A proposed probe nose shape was analyzed using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and was found to produce a flow angle sensitivity close to the required sensitivity. In the current work, the proposed nose shape was tested in a wind tunnel at Mach numbers 1.67, 2.45, and 3.48 at angles of attack from 0 to 15 deg. The test results indicate that the flow angle sensitivity of the proposed nose shape agrees with the required sensitivity to within 1 percent up to a flow angle of 15 deg.