The late stages of transition to turbulence in a Mach two boundary layer are investigated by direct numerical simulation of the compressible Navier-Stokes equations. The primary instability at this Mach number consists of oblique waves, which are known to form a pattern of quasi-streamwise vortices. It is found that breakdown does not follow immediately from these vortices, which decay in intensity. The generation of new vortices is observed by following the evolution of the pressure and vorticity in the simulation, and analysed by consideration of vorticity stretching. It is found that the slight inclined and skewed nature of the quasi-streamwise vortices leads to a production of oppositely signed streamwise vorticity, which serves as a strong localised forcing of the shear layer alongside the original vortices, formed by convection and stretching of spanwise vorticity. The shear layer rolls up into many new vortices, and is followed by a sharp increase in the energy of higher frequencies and in the skin friction.
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- Direct Simulation of Breakdown to Turbulence Following Oblique Instability Waves in a Supersonic Boundary Layer
N. D. Sandham
N. A. Adams
- Springer Netherlands