Evolution and convection of large-scale structures in supersonic reattaching shear flows

K. M. Smith, J. C. Dutton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Double-pulsed Mie scattering studies were performed to characterize the evolution of large-scale structures embedded within a planar supersonic base flow. Images were obtained at several streamwise stations along the shear layers, at reattachment, and in the near-wake regions. From these time-correlated images, the evolution characteristics of the large-scale structures were examined over a range of nondimensional time delays, as defined by local integral length and velocity scales. The double-pulsed images indicated that for short time delays (i.e., less than the representative eddy rollover time), the structures exhibited a simple translation in the streamwise direction. As the time delay was increased, rotation and elongation of the structures were observed in addition to the translation feature. Time delays that appreciably exceeded the local eddy rollover time generally resulted in a dramatic loss of structure identity. No eddy interactions, such as pairing, were observed at any of the imaging locations. Images obtained near reattachment provided evidence of shocklets moving in concert with the local eddies. In the initial portions of the shear layers, the mean convection velocity was measured to be significantly higher than the isentropic estimate, which is consistent with the results of previous convection velocity studies using mixing layers composed of supersonic/subsonic freestream combinations. The eddies decelerate through the recompression and reattachment regions, presumably due to the influence of the adverse pressure gradient. Downstream of reattachment, the large-scale structures accelerate as the wake develops.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2127-2138
Number of pages12
JournalPhysics of fluids
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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