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An adaptive Lagrangian method for computing 1-D reacting flows, and, The theory of Riemann invariant manifolds for the compressible Euler equations


Lappas, Tasso (1993) An adaptive Lagrangian method for computing 1-D reacting flows, and, The theory of Riemann invariant manifolds for the compressible Euler equations. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/bw0e-2789.


In the first part of this thesis, a method for computing one-dimensional, unsteady compressible flows, with and without chemical reactions, is presented. This work has focused on accurate computation of the discontinuous waves that arise in such flows. The main feature of the method is the use of an adaptive Lagrangian grid. This allows the computation of discontinuous waves and their interactions with the accuracy of front-tracking algorithms. This is done without the use of additional grid points representing shocks, in contrast to conventional, front-tracking schemes. The Lagrangian character of the present scheme also allows contact discontinuities to be captured easily. The algorithm avoids interpolation across discontinuities in a natural and efficient way. The method has been used on a variety of reacting and non-reacting flows in order to test its ability to compute complicated wave interactions accurately and in a robust way. In the second part of this thesis, a new approach is presented for computing multidimensional flows of an inviscid gas. The goal is to use the knowledge of the one-dimensional, characteristic problem for gas dynamics to compute genuinely multidimensional flows in a mathematically consistent way. A family of spacetime manifolds is found on which an equivalent 1-D problem holds. These manifolds are referred to as Riemann Invariant Manifolds. Their geometry depends on the local, spatial gradients of the flow, and they provide locally a convenient system of coordinate surfaces for spacetime. In the case of zero entropy gradients, functions analogous to the Riemann invariants of 1-D gas dynamics can be introduced. These generalized Riemann Invariants are constant on the Riemann Invariant Manifolds. The equations of motion are integrable on these manifolds, and the problem of computing the solution becomes that of determining the geometry of these manifolds locally in spacetime. The geometry of these manifolds is examined, and in particular, their relation to the characteristic surfaces. It turns out that they can be space-like or time-like, depending on the flow gradients. An important parameter is introduced, which plays the role of a Mach number for the wave fronts that these manifolds represent. Finally, the issue of determining the solution at points in spacetime, using information that propagates along space-like surfaces is discussed. The question of whether it is possible to use information outside the domain of dependence of a point in spacetime to determine the solution is discussed in relation to the existence and uniqueness theorems, which introduce the concept of domain of dependence. This theory can be viewed as an extension of the method of characteristics to multidimensional, unsteady flows. There are many ways of using the theory to develop practical, numerical schemes. It is shown how it is possible to correct a conventional, second-order Godunov scheme for multidimensional effects, using this theory. A family of second-order, conservative Godunov schemes is derived, using the theory of Riemann Invariant Manifolds, for the case of two-dimensional flow. The extension to three dimensions is straightforward. One of these schemes is used to compute two standard test cases and a two-dimensional, inviscid, shear layer.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Leonard, Anthony
Thesis Committee:
  • Leonard, Anthony (chair)
  • Roshko, Anatol
  • Whitham, Gerald Beresford
  • Hornung, Hans G.
  • Liepmann, Hans Wolfgang
  • Knowles, James K.
  • Dimotakis, Paul E.
Defense Date:16 September 1992
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Air Force Office of Scientific Research88-0155
Air Force Office of Scientific Research90-0304
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-09192007-130342
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:3644
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:17 Oct 2007
Last Modified:16 Apr 2021 22:32

Thesis Files

PDF (Lappas_t_1993.pdf) - Final Version
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