A Study On Boundary Layer Transition Induced By Large Freestream Disturbances
Mandal, Alakesh Chandra
MetadataShow full item record
The initial slow viscous growth of the Tollmein-Schlichting wave in a canonical boundary layer transition is absent in bypass and wake-induced transitions. Although there have been a great deal of studies pertaining to bypass transition in boundary layers, the underlying breakdown mechanism is not clearly understood and it continues to be a subject of interest. Similarly, a wake-induced transition caused by Karman wake in the freestream remains poorly understood. The breakdown in this case is caused by anisotropic disturbances containing large scale unsteadiness in the freestream. Differing view points among workers on the transition process have also added to the complexities. In this thesis, bypass and wake-induced boundary layer transitions studied experimentally towards understanding various flow breakdown features are reported. The measurements were made on a flat plate boundary layer in a low-speed wind tunnel. The particle image velocimetry (PIV) technique was extensively used. Various grids were used to generate nearly isotropic freestream turbulence. A circular cylinder was placed at different heights from the plate leading edge to generate Karman wake in the freestream. Two cylinders of different diameters were used to vary the Reynolds number(based on the cylinder diameter). The PIV measurements being simultaneous over a large spatial domain enabled to assess various spatial transitional flow structures. In the case of bypass transition, the streamwise velocity fluctuation, u, is found to exhibit some organized negative and positive fluctuations that dominate the flow during transition, and confirm the simulation results reported in the literature. These positive and negative u fluctuations are found to be associated with the streak unsteadiness. By conditional sampling of these positive and negative u fluctuations, we find that urms (root-mean-squaredof u)can be expressed as a linear combination of urms,f and urms,b,i.e. urms = a(urms,f + urms,b); ais constant, and the subscripts fand bdenote the positive and nega-tive uﬂuctuations, respectively. Both urms,f and urms,b arefoundto follow the non-modal growth distribution. The wall-normal results clearly show that an inclined shear layer is often associated with an organized structure of negative uﬂuctuations and an inﬂectional in-stantaneous velocity proﬁle. These inclined shear layers appear to be similar to those in ribbon-induced transition. The turbulent spot precursor appears to be the vortex shedding from an oscillating in-clined shear layer. Interestingly, the normalized vortex shedding fre-quency is found to be Reynolds number invariant, as in the case of ribbon-induced transition. The present study also conﬁrms the sim-ulated turbulent spot features, including a thin log-law at the break-down stage. The spanwise plane PIV results reveal the signature of streak secondary instability in the ﬂow in terms of symmetric and anti-symmetric streaks oscillations. The initial growth of streak amplitude is followed by a slow decay. The maximum streak amplitude is well above30% of the freestream velocity. These two aspects provide support to the streak instability analysis reported in the literature. While the present wake-induced transition study provides some sup-port to the available numerical simulation and experimental results, some new results have also emerged. The measured sharp rise in the disturbance energy during transition is found to be closer to the simulated result, compared to the difference reported in the literature. The spanwise vortices in the early stage, as also seen in other experimental studies, deform leading to the formation of lambda structures, the signature of which is found by the linear stochastic analysis. With increased Reynolds number and decreased cylinder height from the plate, the physical size of the lambda structure is found to decrease. These lambda structures are often found to appear in a staggered manner in the spanwise plane, as in the case of sub-harmonic boundary layer transition. Although a sub-harmonic peak in the frequency spectra is reported in the literature, as also in the present study, the clear staggered pattern went unnoticed. Streamwise streaks are subsequently generated due to the mean shear stretching of these lambda vortices. The spanwise spacing of these streamwise streaks is found to be comparable with the recent simulation results. Also, these streaks are found to undergo somewhat sinuous-like oscillations, compared to the only varicose type oscillations reported in the literature. The streak amplitude is found to saturate at about 35% of the freestream speed. Here again an inclined shear layer in the wall-normal plane is associated with organized negative u fluctuations and an inflectional instantaneous velocity profile. The movement of the peak urms towards the wall is found to be due to the positive u fluctuation, which follows a hairpin-like structure. The inclined shear layers herein are associated with the lambda or a hairpin-like structure. As in a by-pass transition, an inclined shear layer, vortex shedding from it, the imprint of which is also found in the linear stochastic analysis are present. The normalized high frequency shed vortices is found to be Reynolds number invariant in the present wake-induced transition, as in ribbon-induced and bypass transitions. Compared to the re-cent suggestion that the parent-offspring mechanism is the governing self-sustaining mechanism in the boundary layer, the present study suggests that streak-instability mechanism is also present. The proper orthogonal decomposition(POD) analysis of the experimental data was carried out with an emphasis on the bypass transition case studied. The first few energetic POD modes are found to capture the dominant flow structures, i.e. the organized positive and negative u fluctuations. In the case of bypass transition, the first two energetic POD modes are self-similar, i.e. independent of the freestream turbulent intensity and the Reynolds number. An attempt is also made to construct a low-dimensional model with the POD eigenfunction modes to predict the qualitative dynamics of bypass transition. This has revealed the existence of a traveling disturbance in the bypass transition. On the whole, the present study shows some similar breakdown features in bypass and wake-induced transitions, although more studies in this regard are essential.