P-23 Extreme Fluids Team at
Los Alamos National Laboratory


Horizontal Shock Tube



Particle Studies




The Horizontal Shock Tube (HST) is designed to study the response of particles and droplets in a gas to the passage of a shock wave, characterized by very strong accelerations. In these circumstances, the flow is unsteady, and our normal drag coefficients will not properly predict the motion of the particles. This facility is using an 8-pulse laser system with a high-speed camera to measure particle velocities and accelerations over very short time scales.


The team works on the drag of particles put into motion by shocks and detonation waves. They examine the drag of individual particles in the Horizontal Shock Tube. Using a Particle Tracking Velocimetry technique, the position, velocity, and acceleration of the particle is extracted. Interestingly, the measured drag is significantly higher than “standard drag curve”, a conglomeration of results from other experiments. The mechanism for this increase in drag is an ongoing research area.


Some experiments done with the Horizontal Shock Tube coordinate with thepRad experiments.


Computer Model of the Horizontal Shock Tube