Theoretical results based on the methods of Freeman and Garr & Marrone show that the stand-off distance and flow pattern of non-equilibrium dissociating flow of nitrogen over the front part of a blunt body can be correlated in terms of a single reaction rate parameter ω taking account of parameters describing the speed, density, dissociation and temperature of the free stream. The density pattern, which is sensitive to the reaction rate, consists of two distinct regions dominated by the effects of reaction and pressure respectively. The shape and size of these regions depend on Q. Experimental results obtained by optical interferometry in a free-piston shock tunnel confirm the theoretical results. A scale effect consistent with the induction time phenomenon suggested by Shui, Appleton & Keck modifies the theoretical results considerably in the case of small models.
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