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Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Reddy Tube: Converting a Destructive Wave into the MAGICAL WAVE

There, I was attending a talk on the topic of “GREEN ENERGY” at an event organized by IMechE, when I first came across this extraordinary person “Dr. K. P. J. Reddy” who was there to talk about his research on the shock waves. Being, an aerospace graduate I was quite excited about the topic of “Shock Waves” as the only reason we had to study about it is because of its nature to retard the airplane or any capsule.
Prof. KPJ Reddy can be, without any doubt can be credited with the title of “Father of Shock Waves Technology”, in reference to his works in the field of Shock Waves and Shock Tube. Thanks to his research, soon we can find a Hypersonic Tunnel in the laboratories of every aerospace institutions with an Indian brand name “THE REDDY TUBE”.

Prof. KPJ Reddy and Prof G Jagadeesh, the scientist duo behind Reddy Tube research 

Some of the key points regarding Reddy tube and its possible availability in Aerospace institutions are below:
  • Prof K P J Reddy from the Department of Aerospace Engineering, IISc claims to have developed a miniature version of the hypersonic shock tunnel that will make it feasible for any institute to have such a facility. 
Modified Reddy tube with 4 mm diameter shock tube

  • The size of regular shock tunnels varies from 10 meters in length to more than a hundred meters.
  • It consists of two sections: a 400-mm-long driver tube with a manually operated piston and a 600-mm-long driven tube. The two parts are small enough to be put on a tabletop and allow students a hands-on experience with hypersonic.
  • The shock tunnel was named after Prof K P J Reddy, who is the godfather of Hypersonic and Shockwave Research in India.
  • He had achieved a breakthrough by producing a shock waves even in syringe-sized tubes, which was later  fabricated to give the name of “the Reddy Shock Tunnel”
A medical syringe converted into piston-driven mini shock tube

Schematic diagram of the Reddy Tube

  • It’s compact and allows basic hypersonic research to be conducted in an educational institutions.
  • This Shock tube can create shock waves in the laboratory environment and allow researchers and students to study the shock waves deeply. 
  • Prof K P J Reddy also claims it to be very useful in:
    • transferring genes to a cell
    • drying tea leaves quickly
    • artificially inseminating farm animals
    • delivering drugs without using needles and various other applications.
  • By Latest, Prof. Reddy and his team are investigating the possibilities of shock wave technology for extracting gas, through an agreement signed with the state-run explorer Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC). 

Dr. KPJ Reddy : A man Who Played with most dangerous natural wave

Wishing a great success ahead to the team of Dr. KPJ Reddy and his team. Wish your team many more successful research to give us more reason to be proud of your research works


 What is Shock Wave?
  • A shock wave is a small area of high pressure and temperature in a gas or liquid that travels at supersonic speeds. The thickness of the area of high pressure and temperature is small, as small as one-millionth of a meter, but it is enough to cause many physical effects when it hits something. Shock waves are produced whenever energy is released in sudden bursts. In nature, they are produced during lightning, earthquakes and explosion or in some cases by supersonic aircraft. Crackers produce weak shock waves.

                                                          Or in physical observance,

  • At speeds below that of sound, the air in front of the object moves away, allowing the object to move forward smoothly. As you keep increasing the speed — when it surpasses the speed of sound — a ‘disturbance’ is formed in the area around the object. The air in front of the object begins to change, increasing in pressure, density and temperature, sharply and abruptly. Such a disturbance is called a ‘shock wave’.”