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Title: Simulation and control of stationary crossflow vortices
Author: Mistry, Vinan I.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7429 331X
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2014
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Turbulent flow and transition are some of the most important phenomena of fluid mechanics and aerodynamics and represent a challenging engineering problem for aircraft manufacturers looking to improve aerodynamic efficiency. Laminar flow technology has the potential to provide a significant reduction to aircraft drag by manipulating the instabilities within the laminar boundary layer to achieve a delay in transition to turbulence. Currently prediction and simulation of laminar-turbulent transition is con- ducted using either a low-fidelity approach involving the stability equations or via a full Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS). The work in this thesis uses an alternative high-fidelity simulation method that aims to bridge the gap between the two simulation streams. The methodology uses an LES approach with a low-computational cost sub-grid scale model (WALE) that has inherent ability to reduce its turbulent viscosity contribution to zero in laminar regions. With careful grid spacing the laminar regions can be explicitly modelled as an unsteady Navier-Stokes simulation while the turbulent and transitional regions are simulated using LES. The methodology has been labelled as an unsteady Navier-Stokes/Large Eddy Simulation (UNS/LES) approach. Two test cases were developed to test the applicability of the method to simulate and control the crossflow instability. The first test case replicated the setup from an experiment that ran at a chord-based Reynolds number of 390, 000. Two methods were used to generate the initial disturbance for the crossflow vortices, firstly using a continuous suction hole and secondly an isolated roughness element. The results for this test case showed that the approach was capable of modelling the full transition process, from explicitly modelling the growth of the initial amplitude of the disturbances to final breakdown to turbulence. Results matched well with the available experimental data. The second test case replicated an experimental setup using a custom- designed aerofoil run at a chord-based Reynolds number of 2.4 million. The test case used Distributed Roughness Elements (DRE) to induce crossflow vortices at both a critical and a control wavelength. By forcing the crossflow vortices at a stable (control) wavelength a delay in laminar-turbulent transition can be achieved. The results showed that the UNS/LES approach was capable of capturing the initial disturbance amplitudes due to the roughness elements and their growth rates matched well with experimental data. Finally, downstream a transitional region was assessed with low-freestream turbulence provided using a modified Synthetic Eddy Method (SEM). The full laminar-turbulent transition pro- cess was simulated and results showed significant promise. In conclusion, the method employed in this thesis showed promising results and demonstrated a possible route to high-fidelity transition simulation run at more realistic flow conditions and geometries than DNS. Further work and validation is required to test the secondary instability region and the final breakdown to turbulence.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Airbus ; ESRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Eng.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Large eddy simulation ; Fluid mechanics ; Computational fluid dynamics ; Crossflow instability ; Transition ; Turbulence ; Laminar ; Turbulent ; WALE ; Synthetic eddy method ; Distributed roughness elements ; Flow control