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Structure Measurements in a Synthetic Turbulent Boundary Layer


Arakeri, Jaywant H. (1987) Structure Measurements in a Synthetic Turbulent Boundary Layer. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/FABW-YZ77.


Extensive hot-wire measurements have been made to determine the structure of the large eddy in a synthejc turbulent boundary layer on a flat-plate model. The experiments were carried out in a wind tunnel at a nominal free-stream velocity of 12 m/s. The synthetic turbulent boundary layer had a hexagonal pattern of eddies and a ratio of streamwise scale to spanwise scale of 3.2:1. The measured celerity of the large eddy was 84.2 percent of the free-stream velocity. There was some loss of coherence, but very little distortion, as the eddies moved downstream. Several mean properties of the synthetic boundary layer were found to agree quite well with the mean properties of a natural turbulent boundary layer at the same Reynolds number.

The large eddy is composed of a pair of primary counter-rotating vortices about five δ long in the streamwise direction and about one δ apart in the spanwise direction, where δ is the mean boundary-layer thickness. The sense of the primary pair is such as to pump fluid away from the wall in the region between the vortices. A secondary pair of counter-rotating streamwise vortices, having a sense opposite to that of the primary pair, is observed outside of and slightly downstream from the primary vortices. Both pairs of vortices extend across the full thickness of the boundary layer and are inclined at a shallow angle to the surface of the flat plate. The data show that the mean vorticity vectors are not tangential to the large-eddy vortices. In fact, the streamwise and normal vorticity components that signal the presence of the eddy are of the same order of magnitude. Definite signatures are obtained in terms of the mean skin-friction coefficient and the mean wake parameter averaged at constant phase. Velocities induced by the vortices are partly responsible for entrainment of irrotational fluid, for transport of momentum, for generation of Reynolds stresses, and for maintenance of streamwise and normal vorticity in the outer flow. A stretching mechanism is important in matching spanwise vorticity close to the wall to variations in turbulent shearing stress. Regions where the stretching term is large coincide with regions of large wall shearing stress and large turbulence production.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Turbulent boundary layer, large scale structure, eddy structure, vorticity dynamics
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Coles, Donald Earl
Thesis Committee:
  • Coles, Donald Earl (chair)
  • Kubota, Toshi
  • Dimotakis, Paul E.
  • Hall, John F.
  • Shair, Fredrick H.
Defense Date:22 May 1987
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-03192008-085206
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:1012
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:21 Mar 2008
Last Modified:21 Dec 2019 04:31

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PDF (Arakeri_j_1987.pdf) - Final Version
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