The University of Southampton

SESA6074 Hypersonic & High Temperature Gas Dynamics

Module Overview

The module will provide the necessary background for those students interested in the design and operation of high speed aerospace vehicles, such as launch vehicles, re-entry vehicles and missiles.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

Provide a fundamental description of hypersonic flows, including aerodynamic heating and non-equilibrium real-gas effects, and the numerical methods used to simulate these phenomena.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The fundamental features of hypersonic flows, and how these differ from other flows
  • The importance and influence of non-equilibrium real-gas effects in high temperature flows
  • The physical mechanisms causing aerodynamic heating of high speed vehicles
  • How the above influence the design of hypersonic vehicles
  • Computational methods appropriate to high speed and/or high temperature flows


• Hypersonic flow (12 lectures) • Aerodynamic heating (6 lectures) • Equilibrium and non-equilibrium gas dynamics (6 lectures) • CFD for high speed flows (12 lectures)

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures , Directed reading, Problem-solving, Matlab programs.

Wider reading or practice18
Follow-up work12
Completion of assessment task24
Preparation for scheduled sessions29
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Laney, C.B.. Computational Gasdynamics. 

Anderson. J.D.. Modern Compressible Flow, with Historical Perspective. 

Anderson.J.D.. Hypersonic & High Temperature Gas Dynamics. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Closed book Examination  (120 minutes) 90%
In-class Test 2.5%
In-class Test 2.5%
In-class Test 2.5%
In-class Test 2.5%


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam  (120 minutes) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisite module: SESA3029 Aerothermodynamics (or equivalent)


To study this module, you will need to have studied the following module(s):

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