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This area involves study and research in experimental, theoretical, and computational aerodynamics, gas dynamics, turbulence, plasma dynamics, heat transfer, and combustion.

Research is presently being conducted in nonequilibrium and rarefied gas flows, turbulence control, shock-boundary layer interactions, thermal and glow-discharge plasmas, turbulent mixing/combustion, nonlinear flow interactions, and advanced optical diagnostics and sensors. Facilities include Mach 2 and Mach 5 blowdown wind tunnels, a 1.25-second low-gravity drop tower, 15" by 20" water channel, laser sensor laboratory, combustion facilities, plasma engineering laboratory, an anechoic chamber facility for rocket nozzle testing, and extensive laser and camera systems for advanced flow diagnostics. The excellent TACC computational facilities include a variety of workstations and access to high-performance computers.

plasma image by raja

Expanding Plasma Technology

L.L. Raja is working to expand plasma technology even further by helping design a new class of plasma-based materials that respond to terahertz (THz) waves, a largely untapped region of the electromagnetic spectrum with potential applications in imaging and sensor technology.

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NASA Funds New Plasma Torch Facility

NASA-JSC has funded a new plasma torch facility at UT Austin to test heat shield materials for the Orion spacecraft, a next-generation space exploration vehicle that will shuttle a human crew to Mars.

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