Title page for ETD etd-07122007-103942

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Ha, Siew-Mun
URN etd-07122007-103942
Title An experimental study of coherent structures in a three-dimensional turbulent boundary layer
Degree PhD
Department Aerospace Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Simpson, Roger L. Committee Chair
Devenport, William J. Committee Member
Mason, William H. Committee Member
Schetz, Joseph A. Committee Member
Walker, Dana A. Committee Member
  • Boundary layer control
  • Turbulent boundary layer
Date of Defense 1993-02-05
Availability restricted
In order to improve the state of turbulence modeling for three-dimensional flows, more detailed information on the fundamental physics of the flow is required. It has been recognized for some time now that organized motions or coherent structures in the flow play a large part in determining the flow characteristics, and there is now a large body of literature dealing with various aspects of coherent structures. However, almost all of the existing literature deal with mean two-dimensional flows with very little reported for mean three-dimensional flows.

In the present study, measurements were performed in a three-dimensional, pressure-driven turbulent boundary layer (Reθ = 5936) in the flow around a wing-body junction with a variety of multiple-sensor probes, to examine the features of the coherent structures in the flow. This test flow has a number of practical applications and was selected because of its strong three-dimensional nature and the availability of an extensive set of mean-flow measurements from previous investigations. The measurements were carried out with a hot-wire rake with sixteen sensors spaced approximately logarithmically over 25.4 mm (1 inch), a parallel-sensor probe with two parallel sensors spaced approximately 4.8 mm apart, a rotatable wall-sensor probe with two wall-mounted hot-film sensors spaced 6.93 mm apart and a traversable wall-sensor probe with two variable-spacing wall-mounted hot-film sensors. The hot-wire rake was used to examine the structure of the flow in both the Y (normal to the wall) and Z (spanwise) directions. The parallel and rotatable wall-sensor probes were used to look at the angular characteristics of the coherent structures in the flow and at the wall, respectively, and the spanwise structure of the flow at the wall was examined through the traversable wall-sensor probe.

The results of the measurements show that the spectral characteristics of the flow are affected by three-dimensional effects. The direction of motion of the coherent structures lags behind the local mean-velocity vectors in the X-Z plane (parallel to the wall) with very little variation with frequency (structure size). Unlike two-dimensional boundary layers, the spectral variation of the convective wave speed does not collapse when normalized with the local mean velocity and friction velocity in the outer and inner regions, respectively. In the outer region of the boundary layer, the distribution of the intermittency with Y appears to agree quite closely with previously reported results for two-dimensional boundary layers. The mean ejection frequency in the near-wall flow and the frequency at the peak of the first moment of the wall shear-stress power spectrum show fairly close agreement, consistent with previously reported results for a two dimensional boundary layer. The measurements with the traversable wall-sensor probe indicate the presence of an organized structure, probably low-speed streaks in the near-wall region, with a preferred spanwise spacing. This spanwise spacing was found to be ΛΖ* = 85 and 135 at two different measurement stations. somewhat different from the well accepted value of ΛΖ* = 100 for two-dimensional boundary layers. Time-delayed correlations of the velocity signal over a range of Y locations reveal an inclined linear wavefront similar to previously reported results for a two-dimensional boundary layer.

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