Receptivity of Boundary Layers under Pressure Gradient

Respondent Huvudhandledare Bihandledare Datum
Lars-Uve Schrader Luca Brandt Dan Henningson 2008-11-14

Tamer Zaki, Imperial College London



Boundary-layer flow over bodies such as aircraft wings or turbine blades is characterized by a pressure gradient due to the curved surface of the body. The boundary layer may experience modal and non-modal instability, and the type of dominant instability depends on whether the body is swept with respect to the oncoming flow or not. The growth of these disturbances causes transition of the boundary-layer flow to turbulence. Provided that they are convective in nature, the instabilities will only arise and persist if the boundary layer is continuously exposed to a perturbation environment. This may for example consist of turbulent fluctuations or sound waves in the free stream or of non-uniformities on the surface of the body. In engineering, it is of relevance to understand how susceptive to such perturbations the boundary layer is, and this issue is subject of receptivity analysis.

In this thesis, receptivity of simplified prototypes for flow past a wing is studied. In particular, the three-dimensional swept-plate boundary layer and the boundary layer forming on a flat plate with elliptic leading edge are considered. The response of the boundary layer to vortical free-stream disturbances and surface roughness is analyzed, receptivity mechanisms are identified and their efficiency is quantified.

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