Effect of energy addition on MR → RR transition

H. Yan, R. Adelgren, Gregory S Elliott, D. Knight, T. Beutner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A combined computational and experimental study was performed to investigate the effect of a single laser energy pulse on the transition from a Mach Reflection (MR) to a Regular Reflection (RR) in the Dual Solution Domain (DSD). The freestream Mach number is 3.45 and two oblique shock waves are formed by two symmetric 22° wedges. These conditions correspond to a point midway within the DSD wherein either an MR or an RR is possible. A steady MR was first obtained experimentally and numerically, then a single laser pulse was deposited above the horizontal center plane. In the experiment, the laser beam was focused resulting in a deposition volume of approximately 3 mm 3, while in the simulation, the laser pulse was modeled as an initial variation of the temperature and pressure using Gaussian profile. A grid refinement study was conducted to assess the accuracy of the numerical simulations. For the steady MR, the simulation showed the variation of Mach stem height along the span due to side effects. The predicted spanwise averaged Mach stem height was 1.96 mm within 2% of the experimental value of 2 mm. The experiment showed that the Mach stem height decreased to 30% of its original height due to the interaction with the thermal spot generated by the laser pulse and then returned to its original height by 300 μs. That the Mach stem returned to its original height was most likely due to freestream turbulence in the wind tunnel. The numerical simulation successfully predicted the reverse transition from a stable MR to a stable RR and the stable RR persisted across the span. This study showed the capability of a laser energy pulse to control the reverse transition of MR → RR within the Dual Solution Domain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-121
Number of pages9
JournalShock Waves
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2003


  • Laser pulse
  • Local flow control
  • MR → RR transition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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