Direct Numerical Simulation of Transition to Turbulence in Hypersonic Flows
In high-speed flows, transition from smooth laminar flow to chaotic turbulent flow is a critical process because the aerodynamic heating and skin friction drag increase dramatically. Thus, is it important to understand the fluid dynamic mechanisms that lead to the growth of instabilities and their transition to a turbulent state. Until recently, only very simple configurations could be analyzed because of limitations in algorithms and computational performance. In this project, the researchers will use high-accuracy numerical methods to simulate the transition process on realistic three-dimensional geometries using direct simulation, in which all relevant length and time scales are resolved. They are studying two problems: the breakdown of the wake behind a discrete roughness element, and the crossflow transition on a 2:1 elliptical cone.
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