College of Engineering and Polymer Science

Date of Last Revision

2023-05-04 17:55:24


Mechanical Engineering

Honors Course


Number of Credits


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Fall 2021


In this Honors Research Project, I will investigate the aerodynamic drag on certain defined ramps and cone/cylinder geometries representing oblique shock wave diffusers. The goal is to develop an oblique shock wave diffuser that decelerates supersonic air while maintaining a limited aerodynamic drag profile. The aerodynamic drag will first be obtained by calculating the pressure coefficient and the skin friction coefficient using the fluid simulation software ANSYS Fluent (version 2019). Limiting drag is important for aircraft flight performance, especially at supersonic speeds. At flight speeds above Mach 1, shock waves form and the air passing through these waves experiences a dramatic increase in pressure, density and temperature. For proper function of air-breathing supersonic aircraft engines, supersonic air must be decelerated to subsonic flow in a diffuser, or the shock waves will cause damage to the engines. Oblique shock waves create less stagnation pressure loss than normal shock waves, which allows for increased flight performance. This research will deepen our understanding of how the design of oblique shock wave diffusers affects drag.

Research Sponsor

Alex Povitsky

First Reader

Christopher Daniels

Second Reader

Alper Buldum

Honors Faculty Advisor

Donald Quinn



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