SWL - High Temperature Gasdynamic, Shock Wave Laboratory


Head of the Institute

Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Karl Alexander Heufer

Field of Study

Aerospace Engineering

Main Focus

Gasdynamics, High temperature gasdynamics, Shock waves, Transonic and supersonic flows, Reactive flows

Research Focus

Experimental work covers the disciplines hypersonic aerothermodynamics of reentry vehicles, airfoil flows in the transonic regime, production of nanoparticles in supersonic flows, acceleration of metal particles in a supersonic nozzle flow and investigation of the ignition characteristics of biofuels in a shock tube. For this, a shock tunnel with detonation driver, a transonic shock tube, a large heatable shock tube as well as a variety of smaller facilities are available.

These topics require measuring techniques of high time resolution typically in the order of one microsecond. The employed measuring techniques enclose pressure, force and moment measurements, PIV, shadow and schlieren optics, hot wire anemometry, fast heat flux sensors like special thermocouples and thin film gauges with a response time in the microsecond range as well as infrared thermography.

For CFD simulations of steady and unsteady flows high order finite difference methods are employed for DNS and Reynolds averaged numerical simulations. These methods are extended to consider thermal and chemical nonequilibrium effects.

Lectures are given in gasdynamics, gasdynamics of real gases, shock waves and transient measuring techniques.

Cooperations and contacts abroad exist with the following universities and research institutes: Université de Provence, Marseille, University of New South Wales, Australia, University of Queensland, Australia, Tohoku University, Japan, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, and ITAM, Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk.


SWL - Shock Wave Laboratory
Schurzelterstr. 35
52074 Aachen

Phone: +49 241 80-246 06
Fax: +49 241 80-221 75

Homepage SWL