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Interaction Heating Facility
May 19, 2014


The IHF is equipped with a 60-MW constricted heater that operates at pressures from 1 to 9 atmospheres and enthalpy levels from 7 to 47 MJ/kg (3000 to 20000 Btu/lb). The facility is designed to operate with interchangeable conical nozzles with exit diameters ranging from 76.2 mm (3”) to 1 m (41”). When the heater is coupled with the semielliptical nozzle, the test stream is suitable for testing flat panels of up to 610 x 610mm (24” by 24”) in simulated hypersonic boundary layer flow environments. [image-51]


Testing features include:

  • 60-MW Ames-designed constrictor arc heater
  • Nozzle exit sizes from 76.2 mm to 1 m
  • Stagnation, free jet wedge, or flat panel test configurations
  • Stagnation pressure from 0.01 to 6 atm
  • Heat fluxes from 5 to > 6000 kW/m2
  • Enthalpies 7 to 47 MJ/kg (3000 – 20,000 Btu/lb)
  • Power supply capable of delivering 75 MW continuously and up to 150 MW for a 15 second duration
  • Test times up to one hour demonstrated


IHF One Pager



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The sixty megawatt arc jet
The Interaction Heating Facility (IHF) 60-MW arc jet at NASA Ames
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X-37 pylon test in IHF
The wind leading edge pylon test for X-37 using the IHF semielliptic nozzle.
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Page Last Updated: July 14th, 2014
Page Editor: Ernest Fretter