Weakly nonlinear analysis of boundary layer receptivity to free-stream disturbances

Authors: Brandt, L.B., Henningson, D.S.H., Ponziani, D.
Document Type: Article
Pubstate: Published
Journal: Phys. Fluids
Volume: 14   1426-1441
Year: 2002


The intent of the present paper is to study the receptivity of a zero pressure gradient boundary layer to free-stream disturbances with the aim to isolate the essential features involved in the generation of streamwise streaks. A weakly nonlinear formulation based on a perturbation expansion in the amplitude of the disturbance truncated at second order is used. It is shown that the perturbation model provide an efficient tool able to disentangle the sequence of events in the receptivity process. Two types of solutions are investigated: the first case amounts to the receptivity to oblique waves generated by a wave-like external forcing term oscillating in the free stream, the second the receptivity to free-stream turbulence-like disturbances, represented as a superposition of modes of the continuous spectrum of the Orr-Sommerfeld and Squire operators. A scaling property of the governing equations with the Reynolds number is also shown to be valid. The relation between this nonlinear receptivity process and previously investigated linear ones is also discussed.