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Crossflow Phenomena in Streamline-Traced Hypersonic Intakes

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Generally, the shape of streamline-traced intakes is defined by stream surfaces based upon an inviscid template flowfield but corrected by appropriate local boundary-layer displacement thicknesses. However, this design methodology neglects secondary effects such as the occurrence of crossflow phenomena or local flow separation bubbles, which can lead to significant degradation of the overall intake performance. The present paper investigates the occurrence of crossflow phenomena within the boundary and entropy layers of a small-scale stream-traced intake of a scramjet vehicle. The crossflow is not anticipated during the design process and leads to a local accumulation of decelerated fluid near the combustor entrance. This effect lowers the margin against possible boundary-layer separation and intake unstart. It is found that the crossflow is mainly driven by inviscid phenomena principally linked to the presence of blunt leading edges.