Experiments in a boundary layer subjected to free stream turbulence. Part II: The role of TS-waves in the transition process.

Authors: Boiko, A.V., Westin, K.J.A., Muhammad- Klingmann, G.B., Kozlov, V.V, Alfredsson, P.H.
Document Type: Article
Pubstate: Published
Journal: J. Fluid Mech.
Volume: 281   219-245
Year: 1994


For pt. 1 see ibid., vol. 281, p. 219-45 (1994). The natural occurrence of Tollmien-Schlichting (TS) waves has so far only been observed in boundary layers subjected to moderate levels of free stream turbulence (Tu<1%), owing to the difficulty in detecting small-amplitude waves in highly perturbed boundary layers. By introducing controlled oscillations with a vibrating ribbon, it is possible to study small-amplitude waves using phase-selective filtering techniques. In the present work, the effect of TS-waves on the transition is studied at Tu=1.5%. It is demonstrated that TS-waves can exist and develop in a similar way as in an undisturbed boundary layer. It is also found that TS-waves with quite small amplitudes are involved in nonlinear interactions which lead to a regeneration of TS-waves in the whole unstable frequency band. This results in a significant increase in the number of turbulent spots, which promote the onset of turbulence.