Supersonic Flow Over a Wedge

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When the velocity of the object exceeds the speed of sound in the same medium, it is said to have achieved a supersonic speed. The Mach number, which is the characteristic non-dimensional number often used to describe the velocity of the object with respect to the speed of sound, ranges between 1.2 and 5 e.g., for space shuttle reentry, supersonic passenger aircraft, etc. At these speeds, shock waves, which are sharp spatial discontinuities in the flow properties such as density, velocity, and pressure, are created. Due to sudden changes in flow properties such as pressure, it becomes important to study the effect of a shock wave on the moving object for structural integrity and stability. This can be done with the help of computational fluid dynamics (CFD). In this course, we model a canonical problem involving the supersonic flow over a wedge.

This SimCafe course was developed by Dr. Rajesh Bhaskaran, Swanson Director of Engineering Simulation at Cornell University, and Benjamin J Mullen in partnership with Ansys. It serves as an e-learning resource to integrate industry-standard simulation tools into courses and provides a resource for supplementary learning outside the classroom. In this course, we learn to model the fluid flow to obtain the flow properties as well as estimate the shock angles by following the end-to-end workflow in Ansys Workbench.

For more ways to learn, check out the Cornell edX course, A Hands-on Introduction to Engineering Simulations at

Cornell University also offers a Fluid Dynamics Simulations Using Ansys online certificate authored by Dr. Rajesh Bhaskaran. Learn more here:

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