Transition in boundary layer flows
An experimental investigation of transition in boundary layer flows under the influence of various freestream conditions is described. Velocity profiles are obtained automatically by means of a stepper-motor driven traverse mechanism which carries a hot wire probe connected to a constant temperature anemometer and associated instrumentation. This was achieved by use of a data acquisition and control facility centred around a microcomputer with a Eurocard rack mounted extension. The automatic boundary layer traverse is software controlled and the data obtained is stored in a disc file for subsequent analysis and graphical display. As an integral part of this facility a successful method of obtaining reliable intermittency values from a hot wire signal was developed. The influence of freestream turbulence and pressure gradient upon transition within a boundary layer developing on a flat plate is elucidated by a series of controlled experiments. From the data accumulated, the concept of statistical similarity in transition regions is extended to include moderate non-zero pressure gradients, with the streamwise mean intermittency distribution described by the normal distribution function. An original correlation which accounts for the influence of freestream turbulence in zero pressure gradient flows, and the combined influence of freestream turbulence and pressure gradient in adverse pressure gradient flows, on the transition length Reynolds number R, is presented. (The limited amount of favourable pressure gradient data precluded the extension of the correlation to include favourable pressure gradient flows). A further original contribution was the derivation of an intermittency weighted function which describes the development of the boundary layer energy thickness through the transition region. A general boundary layer integral prediction scheme based on existing established integral techniques for the laminar and turbulent boundary layers with an intermittency modelled transition region, has been developed and applied successfully to a range of test data.