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Complexity Reduction of Fluid-Structure Systems at Low Forcing Frequencies


Shamai, Maysam (2021) Complexity Reduction of Fluid-Structure Systems at Low Forcing Frequencies. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/rhs5-yq49.


This thesis addresses complexity reduction in periodic fluid-structure systems at low forcing frequencies. A novel quasi-steady time scaling framework is developed to relate the dynamics of a forced system to a corresponding unforced system.

Particle Image Velocimetry and dye flow visualization are used to study the streamwise-oscillating cylinder's wake at a mean Reynolds number of 900. Forcing frequencies both one and two orders of magnitude below the stationary shedding frequency are considered. Forcing amplitudes are such that the instantaneous Reynolds number remains above the critical value at all times. It is shown that this forcing regime is synonymous with the development of both frequency and amplitude modulation in the wake. While frequency modulation is linked to vortex shedding, amplitude modulation arises due to symmetric reorganization of the wake at certain phases in the forcing cycle. Furthermore, Dynamic Mode Decomposition is used to extract underlying flow structures and quasi-steady time scaling is employed to relate dynamics to the corresponding unforced system. Specifically, forcing regimes where quasi-steady shedding can develop are identified and time is scaled to transform the system to resemble the stationary cylinder at the same mean Reynolds number.

Experimental flowfields are also used to analyze the wake of a surface mounted hemisphere subject to a highly pulsatile freestream, characterized by a forcing amplitude equal to the mean. Although this flow sees regular shedding of hairpin vortices in the unforced case, pulsatile forcing leads to significant deviations. For a nominal mean Reynolds number of 1000, analysis of the wake shows that forcing at a frequency much smaller than that associated with hairpin shedding can lead to frequency modulated shedding. Consequently, time scaling is employed to reduce system complexity associated with hairpin shedding and to relate wake dynamics to the analogous unforced system.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Fluid-structure interaction, aerodynamics, reduced-order modeling
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Awards:Charles D. Babcock Award, 2017.
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • McKeon, Beverley J.
Thesis Committee:
  • Gharib, Morteza (chair)
  • Leonard, Anthony
  • Plesniak, Michael W.
  • McKeon, Beverley J.
Defense Date:6 May 2021
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Army Research Office (ARO)W911NF- 17-1-0306
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:05282021-215050622
Persistent URL:
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription 00.004700DOIArticle adapted for ch. 2, 3 and 4 adapted for ch. 3
Shamai, Maysam0000-0002-1099-1456
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:14196
Deposited By: Maysam Shamai
Deposited On:03 Jun 2021 00:06
Last Modified:26 Oct 2023 20:41

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