We’re getting ready to start testing the airship’s drag reduction systems. The main tool we will be using is a mach two shock tube. A shock tube is a very short duration wind tunnel. It ‘s made of a long tube with a burst plate at one end and test chamber at the other. The tube is pumped down to vacuum then the plate at the end is burst open. This causes a supersonic wave to travel down the tube into the test chamber.
We have a 10000 samples per second recorder so we can measure the speed of the wave. The first goal of the system is to be able to turn it on with out it imploding. After that we’ll slowly start increasing the speed of the system. We hope to have it running at Mach 2.2 within a year.