Diagnostics and Modelling

UVA instream diagnostics are enabling an understanding of combustion associated with high-speed propulsion and the development of comprehensive databases for the validation of new models.

Lin Ma and Chloe Dedic lead our advanced diagnostics work in high-speed 4D combustion and flow visualization (Ma) and advanced reacting flow quantification (Dedic). These faculty pair the existing high-speed propulsion expertise of Christopher Goyne and Harhsa Chelliah with leading-edge experimental flow measurement technologies and experience. Ma has worked extensively on experimental and image processing techniques to study multiphase and reacting flows in three-dimensional space at high-speed to study flow structures as they evolve with time. Dedic has experience developing laser-based techniques to measure thermodynamic properties (temperature, gas density) and combustion-relevant species to study challenging reacting flow environments including gaseous detonations, shock waves, and nonequilibrium plasma systems.

In advanced modelling, the Sandia S3D Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS) code has been modified by Chelliah’s group to investigate complex interactions occurring in compressible, turbulent flow geometries and relevant for ramjet flow conditions, with reduced-order models developed at UVA. Production level tip-to-tail simulations have also been performed with partner institutions to better understand system-level flow dynamics observed in the UVA scramjet facility.

Eric Loth has investigated the role of atmospheric particles (ash, ice, sand, and rain) in surface energy position and potential for material damage. This includes understanding the influence of particle shape and Mach number on trajectory as well as impact velocity, location, and frequency.  This expertise links strongly with materials, structures, and thermal protection systems and can provide an understanding of the fundamental physics as well as defining critical test conditions for forebody surface materials.


Modeling Capabilities

  • Hypersonic shock boundary layer interaction control
  • Multiphase and supersonic flows


  • Particle image velocimetry (PIV)
  • Planar laser-induced fluorescence (PLIF)
  • High heat flux material characterization
  • Portable four-dimensional sensor packages
  • Coherent anti-stokes raman scattering (CARS)
  • Direct numerical simulation
  • Chemical kinetics and model reduction
chloe dedic

"Our suite of advanced laser-based diagnostics provides highly resolved insights into the physics of highspeed combustion and enables the development of comprehensive databases for model validation."

Chloe Dedic, Assistant Professor Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering