Very near-nozzle shear-layer turbulence and jet noise

Ryan A. Fontaine, Gregory S. Elliott, Joanna M. Austin, Jonathan B. Freund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One of the principal challenges in the prediction and design of low-noise nozzles is accounting for the near-nozzle turbulent mixing layers at the high Reynolds numbers of engineering conditions. Even large-eddy simulation is a challenge because the locally largest scales are so small relative to the nozzle diameter. Model-scale experiments likewise typically have relatively thick near-nozzle shear layers, which potentially hampers their applicability to high-Reynolds-number design. To quantify the sensitivity of the far-field sound to nozzle turbulent-shear-layer conditions, a family of diameter D nozzles is studied in which the exit turbulent boundary layer momentum thickness is varied from 0.0042D up to 0.021D for otherwise identical flow conditions. Measurements include particle image velocimetry (PIV) to within 0.04D of the exit plane and far-field acoustic spectra. The influence of the initial turbulent-shear-layer thickness is pronounced, though it is less significant than the well-known sensitivity of the far-field sound to laminar versus turbulent shear-layer exit conditions. For thicker shear layers, the nominally missing region, where the corresponding thinner shear layer would develop, leads to the noise difference. The nozzle-exit momentum thickness successfully scales the high-frequency radiated sound for nozzles of different sizes and exhaust conditions. Yet, despite this success, the detailed turbulence statistics show distinct signatures of the different nozzle boundary layers from the different nozzles. Still, the different nozzle shear-layer thicknesses and shapes have a similar downstream development, which is consistent with a linear stability analysis of the measured velocity profiles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-51
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - May 2015


  • acoustics
  • boundary layers
  • jet noise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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