Large-scale structures in supersonic reattaching shear flows

K. M. Smith, J. C. Dutton

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Time-resolved, planar imaging was employed to study the spatial organization of coherent structures within the shear layers, at reattachment, and in the wake region of a supersonic base flow. Side and end views were obtained at several streamwise locations to characterize the evolution and three-dimensionality of the large-scale motions. From statistically significant ensembles, spatial correlation fields were computed to quantify the mean structural size, eccentricity, and orientation. Visualizations confirm that large-scale turbulent structures exist at all stations in the shear layers and interact vigorously with the recirculation region. Mach and/or shock waves are frequently seen emanating from within the shear layer which may be indicative of eddy shocklet formation. The embedded turbulent structures are elliptical in shape and usually appear inclined to the mean flow direction. A distinct flattening and tilting in the streamwise direction occurs as the coherent eddies negotiate the separation, recompression, and rcattachment processes. Spatial statistics indicate that the structures have a streamwise and span wise spatial extent on the order of the local shear layer thickness. The organization of the initial shear layer seems to be preferential in the spanwise direction; however, near recompression, a transition to three-dimensionality occurs in which the streamwise coherency of the structures becomes dominant. Furthermore, the structures appear to degrade in their spatial organization during the recompression and reattachment processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages18
StatePublished - 1995
EventFluid Dynamics Conference, 1995 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Jun 19 1995Jun 22 1995


OtherFluid Dynamics Conference, 1995
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


Dive into the research topics of 'Large-scale structures in supersonic reattaching shear flows'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this