Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
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AEM 5245: Hypersonic Aerodynamics

Catalog Description



AEM 5245

Hypersonic Aerodynamics

3 Credits


Catalog Description:


Importance and properties of hypersonic flow. Hypersonic shock and expansion-wave relations. Local surface inclination methods. Approximate and exact methods for hypersonic inviscid flow fields. Viscous flow: boundary layers, aerodynamic heating, hypersonic viscous interactions, computational methods. Hypersonic propulsion and vehicle design.


Course Web Address:




Prerequisites by Topic:


  1. Aerodynamics (AEM 4202)


Text: (reference)


J. D. Anderson, Jr., Hypersonic and High Temperature Gas Dynamics, McGraw Hill, 1989.


Format of Course


3 hours of lecture per week


Computer Usage:


Spreadsheets, Matlab, Fortran/C programs


Course Objectives:


Develop an understanding of inviscid hypersonic flows, viscous hypersonic flows and high temperature effects as they apply to hypersonic aerodynamics.


Course Outcomes:


Students who successfully complete the course will demonstrate the following outcomes

by tests, homework, and written reports:

  1. An ability to solve problems involving inviscid hypersonic flows
  2. An ability to solve problems involving viscous hypersonic flows.
  3. An understanding of high temperature effects in hypersonic aerodynamics.
  4. An understanding of the design issues for hypersonic wings.
  5. An ability to use computational tools to evaluate hypersonic flows.
  6. A knowledge of recent developments in hypersonic aerodynamics with application to aerospace systems.


Relationship of course to program objectives:


This course developed advanced topics in aerodynamics that are important for aerospace engineers who wish to design hypersonic aircraft and re-entry vehicles.



Relationship of course to program outcomes:


This course provides the following outcomes:


  1. Apply mathematics
  2. System Design
  3. Identify engineering problems
  4. Communication skills
  5. Lifelong learning
  6. Engineering tools
  7. Aerodynamics
  8. Other space related topics


Course Outline:


(Hrs, approx.)



Introduction to Hypersonic Aerodynamics


Hypersonic shock relations


Surface inclination methods, Newtonian aerodynamics


Planetary entry dynamics


Viscous hypersonic flows


Stagnation point heating


Transition and turbulent flows


Viscous interactions


High temperature effects


Experimental facilities


Computational methods




Outcome Measurement:


Outcomes will be measured with homework, tests, and a design project.


Student Survey Questions:


This course improved my ability to do the following:

  1. Apply knowledge of math, science, and engineering.
  2. Design a system, component or process to meet desired needs.
  3. Identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems.
  4. Communicate effectively.
  5. Recognize of the need for, and the ability to engage in life-long learning.
  6. Use the techniques, skills, modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.

Please answer the following questions regarding the course:

  1. The homework helped me to understand the concepts presented in the course.
  2. The tests were appropriate in length and content.
  3. The level of work required in this course was appropriate for the credit given.
  4. The design project helped me to understand how the fundamental course material is applied in an elementary design problem?

In this course I acquired the following:

  1. An understanding of inviscid hypersonic aerodynamics.
  2. An understanding of planetary entry dynamics related to hypersonic aerodynamics.
  3. An understanding of viscous hypersonic aerodynamics and aerodynamic heating.
  4. An understanding of high temperature effects on hypersonic aerodynamics.


Last modified:



Last Modified: 2007-07-24 at 10:04:42 -- this is in International Standard Date and Time Notation