In the field of supersonic air intakes, Onera has acquired a great deal of experience – and renown – for its past development of the Concorde air intakes and, more recently, all the intakes used on French ramjet missiles (ASMP, MPSR, ANS, ASLP, future air-air missiles, and others).
The work done here ranges from the design of the air intakes to the characterization of their performance, numerically or experimentally. The applications are very large, covering not only missiles but also transport aircraft and hypersonic vehicles.
Generally, the purpose of the research is to obtain the best possible performance in terms of efficiency, mass flow rate, and distortions, considering the constraints specific to the vehicles considered, such as the flight envelope, fuselage integration, interaction with the external aerodynamics, stealth, and so forth.
Different air intake concepts are studied: those with external, internal, or both types of compression, and those of fixed or variable geometry. Starting problems, and problems of internal flow stability control, are also specific themes of research.