On the H-type transition to turbulence - Laboratory experiments and reduced-order modeling

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A series of experiments were conducted to understand the sources of local, high-amplitude velocity fluctuations produced at the late stages of boundary-layer flow transition to turbulence. The laboratory experiments considered the controlled injection of Tollmien-Schlichting (TS) waves into a nearly zero pressure gradient, laminar boundary layer, resulting in H-type transition to turbulence. Proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) was used to extract the energetic coherent structures within the transitional flow field obtained with particle image velocimetry. The first three modes were observed to feature spatial mode shapes consistent with a cross-section of a canonical hairpin vortex structure and were associated with time-dependent amplitudes having consistent peak frequencies with the fundamental TS wave frequency. Higher-order modes exhibited a combination of sub- and super-harmonics of the TS wave frequency and were attributed to flow interactions produced by a hairpin packet. A conditional averaging method was used to establish a reduced-order model for the overshoot phenomena in Reynolds shear stress and turbulence kinetic energy observed at the late transition stage. The lower portion of the large-scale hairpin vortex structure was observed to be primarily responsible for the overshoot mechanisms, which was well captured in a reduced-order model of the velocity field. The first four POD modes were used to create this reduced-order model, which, while only consisting of ≈15% of the total turbulence kinetic energy of the original velocity field, was able to capture ≈85% of the peak Reynolds stress amplitude across the overshoot region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number024105
JournalPhysics of fluids
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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