Planar visualizations of large-scale turbulent structures in axisymmetric supersonic separated flows

Christopher J. Bourdon, J. Craig Dutton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The spatial evolution of large-scale turbulent structures in the shear layer of an axisymmetric, supersonic separated flow has been investigated. The experimental diagnostic used was planar visualization of condensed ethanol droplets that were suspended in die supersonic free stream. Spatial correlation analyses of large ensembles of images show that the mean side-view structure is highly strained and elliptical in shape and is inclined toward the local free stream direction. It is also shown that the effect of lateral streamline convergence for this axisymmetric case causes a reduction in side-view structure size and eccentricity at the reattachment point as compared to the planar case. End-view structures are wedge shaped, wider on the free-stream side than on the recirculation region or developing wake side. It is concluded that the wedge shape is caused by the axisymmetric confinement of die shear layer as it approaches the wake centerline. The average number of structures present in the end-view plane decreases significantly from 10-14 at recompression to 4-5 in the developing wake region. Evidence of an amalgamation of end-view structures in the images at the reattachment point illustrates one of the mechanisms responsible for this reduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-213
Number of pages13
JournalPhysics of fluids
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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