Aerothermodynamics of Spiked Bodies: Part I

Document Type : Original Article


1 Egyptian Armed Forces, Egypt.

2 Professor of Aerodynamics, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.


Among a variety of design requirements, reducing the drag and aeroheating on hypersonic vehicles are the most crucial. Unfortunately, these two objectives are often conflicting. On one hand, sharp slender forebodies design reduces the drag and ensures longer ranges and more economic flights. However, they are more vulnerable to aerodynamic heating. On the other hand, blunt forebodies produce more drag however, they are preferred as far as aeroheating is concerned. In addition, in the context of hypersonic vehicles, blunt geometries are preferred over slender ones for practical implications such as higher volumetric efficiency, better accommodation of crew or on-board equipment. In principle, a blunt vehicle flying at hypersonic speeds generates a strong bow shock wave ahead of its nose which is responsible for the high drag and aeroheating levels. There have been a number of efforts devoted towards reducing both the drag and aeroheating by
modifying the flowfield ahead of the vehicle’s nose. Of these techniques, using spikes is the simplest and the most reliable technique. A spike is simply a slender rod attached to the stagnation point of the vehicle’s nose. The spike replaces the strong bow shock with a system of weaker shocks along with creating a zone of recirculating flow ahead of the forebody thus reducing both drag and aeroheating. Since their introduction to the high-speed vehicles domain, spikes have been extensively studied using both experimental facilities and numerical simulation techniques. The present review study is devoted to surveying these contributions and illustrating the recent contributions of the authors in this field. The present study also raises some of the areas in the field that need further investigations. For a clearer illustration, the study is presented in two separate papers. The present paper, Part I, is intended to serve as an index for previous literature that could be useful for the interested researchers. The other part of this paper deals with the recent advances of spiked bodies aerothermodynamics and up-to-date contributions.