Secondary instability of cross-flow vortices in Falkner-Skan-Coke boundary layers.

Authors: Högberg, M., Henningson, D.S.H.
Document Type: Article
Pubstate: Published
Journal: J. Fluid Mech.
Volume: 368   339-357
Year: 1998


Linear eigenvalue calculations and spatial direct numerical simulations (DNS) of disturbance growth in Falkner-Skan-Cooke (FSC) boundary layers have been performed. The growth rates of the small amplitude disturbances obtained from the DNS calculations show differences compared to linear local theory, i.e. non-parallel effects are present. With higher amplitude initial disturbances in the DNS calculations, saturated cross-flow vortices are obtained. In these vortices strong shear layers appear. When a small random disturbance is added to a saturated cross-flow vortex, a low frequency mode is found located at the bottom shear layer of the cross-flow vortex and a high frequency secondary instability is found at the upper shear layer of the cross-flow vortex. The growth rates of the secondary instabilities are found from detailed analysis of simulations of single frequency disturbances. The low frequency disturbance is amplified throughout the domain, but with a lower growth rate than the high frequency disturbance, which is amplified only once the cross-flow vortices have started to saturate. The high frequency disturbance has a growth rate that is considerably higher than the growth rates for the primary instabilities, and it is conjectured that the onset of the high-frequency instability is well correlated with the start of transition.