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The instability of shear layers produced by curved shocks


Lemieux, Patrick (1999) The instability of shear layers produced by curved shocks. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology.


A curved shock of general shape in hypersonic flow generates vorticity, so that a shear layer is formed in the flow downstream of the shock. The parameters affecting the distribution of vorticity in the shear layer are identified. Experiments aimed at determining the preferred wavelength of structures that develop in these flows are carried out in the T5 Hypervelocity Shock Tunnel. To visualize these structures, a new technique using streaklines is developed. The results are compared with numerical simulations of perfect-gas flows.

The numerical study also points to a flow regime, as the Newtonian limit is approached, where the instability of the shear layer is such that the shock becomes distorted. A series of experiments aimed at investigating flows approaching this limit is performed, using the T5 Light Gas Gun facility, and confirms the existence of this new regime.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:curved shock; light gas gun; shear layer; T5; vorticity
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Mechanical Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Hornung, Hans G.
Thesis Committee:
  • Hornung, Hans G. (chair)
  • Goodwin, David G.
  • Culick, Fred E. C.
  • Shepherd, Joseph E.
Defense Date:13 May 1999
Author Email:plemieux (AT)
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-02212008-090557
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:701
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:11 Mar 2008
Last Modified:26 Dec 2012 02:31

Thesis Files

PDF (Lemieux_p_1999.pdf) - Final Version
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