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Here is the image of a shock wave on a cone in a small supersonic wind tunnel, the white lines are the condensations formed in the test chamber due to flow expansion.

Shock wave and expansion fan over a cone

Why are the condensations so chaotic ahead of the shock wave?

I know that the flow shouldn't fall down on the cone but still, why is it so chaotic?

Note: the chamber is 4-5 cm long.

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The wind tunnel design is not providing clean smooth airflow. Turbulence at supersonic speed does not travel upstream so the turbulence must be created by the wind tunnel design.

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  • $\begingroup$ Why not? IS the wind tunnel poorly designed? $\endgroup$
    – Koyovis
    Aug 25, 2019 at 6:07
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    $\begingroup$ How would I know why? The fact is turbulence at supersonic speed does not travel upstream so the turbulence must be created by the wind tunnel design. The picture has no detail of the wind tunnel and even if it included the whole tunnel the small details in wind-tunnels can have very large effect. $\endgroup$
    – Max Power
    Aug 25, 2019 at 6:16
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    $\begingroup$ turbulence at supersonic speed does not travel upstream so the turbulence must be created by the wind tunnel design would be a good addition to the answer. $\endgroup$
    – Koyovis
    Aug 25, 2019 at 6:19

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