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Modeling of Point Vortex Kinematics

by Wesley Lee September 14, 2012

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Abstract

Vortex ﬂow induces wake turbulence dangerous to subsonic aircraft in congested air traﬃc. Modeling the ﬂow of ﬂuid vortices is important in understanding the hazards of wake streams. In this project, a time-iteration scheme in MatLab is used to simulate the ﬂow ﬁeld for a number of diﬀerent conﬁgurations of coplanar point vortices used to model aircraft wing conﬁgurations. Optimum elliptical loading for minimum induced drag is simulated, showing the evolution of two distinct vortical streams from the wingtips stretching to uniform width.

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Formulation

Each vortex in the group moves with the total induced velocity due to the rest of the vortices in the ﬂow ﬁeld. The induced velocity ﬁeld of a single vortex is described in cylindrical coordinates by: ￿ (￿) = (ur , uθ ) = (0, ur Γ ) 2πr

where Γ is the strength of the vortex. It can be shown that the induced velocity ﬁeld of a vortex within a ﬂow ﬁeld ￿ of other vortices is described in Cartesian coordinates by Ui = (ui , vi ): dxi ui = = dt vi = dyi = dt
n ￿

j=1,j￿=i n ￿

Γj (−yi + yj ) 2π[(xi − xj )2 + (yi − yj )2 ] Γj (xi − xj ) 2π[(xi − xj )2 + (yi − yj )2 ]

(1)

(2)

j=1,j￿=i

where ri = (xi , yi ) and rj = (xj , yj ). An iterative process calculates the ﬂow of vortex positions using a time step ￿t over a length of time tf using velocity equations (1) and (2): ri,t = ri,t−1 + (ui,t−1 , vi,t−1 )￿t where ri,t = (xi,t , yi,t ) and ri,t−1 = (xi,t−1 , yi,t−1 ). Movement for each vortex is plotted together. 1

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Test Cases

Test Case 1. For number of vortices n = 2, circulation strengths Γ1 = −Γ2 , and arbitrarily setting Γ1 = −2 and initial positions for each vortex (xi , yi ) to [−2, 0; 2, 0], the vortex pair moves at constant velocity.
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Figure 1: Counter-rotating vortices. n = 2, Γi = [−2; 2], initPos = [−2, 0; 2, 0], ￿t = 0.01s, tf = 25s Test Case 2. For n = 2, Γ1 = Γ2 , and arbitrarily setting Γ1 = 2 and initial positions to [−2, 0; 2, 0], the vortex pair orbits at a constant angular velocity around their centroid.
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Figure 2: Co-rotating vortices. n = 2, Γi = [2; 2], initPos = [−2, 0; 2, 0], ￿t = 0.01s, tf = 90s Test Case 3. For n identical vortices placed at equal intervals on a circle, they orbit around the center of the circle at constant angular velocity.
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Figure 3: Co-rotating vortices on circle. [−2, 0; 2, 0], ￿t = 0.01s, tf = 90s

n = 2, Γi = [2; 2], initPos =

Test Case 4. A vortex placed near a 90◦ corner moving on a trajectory r sin 2θ = const is equivalent to a four-vortex system that creates the same impermeability condition that the wall induces. The impermeability condition occurs at x = 0, y = 0 when Γ = [b; −b; b; −b] and initial positions are [x, y; −x, y; −x, −y; x, −y]. Arbitrarily, b = 2, x = 1, y = 3 to plot.

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Point Vortex Simulations

Simulation 1. Symmetric co-rotating vortex pairs model the initial conditions of the vortex wake of an aircraft wing with inboard ﬂaps deployed. The initial 2

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Figure 4: Vortex ﬂow on trajectory r sin 2θ = const. n = 4, Γi = [2; −2; 2; −2], initPos = [1, 3; −1, 3; −1, −3; 1, −3], ￿t = 0.01s, tf = 30s conﬁgurations (x0,i , y0,i , Γi ) of these vortices are as follows with γ as a circulation strength modiﬁer for the inner vortex pair: b b b b [(− , 0, −Γ), (− , 0, −γΓ), ( , 0, γΓ), ( , 0, Γ)] 2 4 4 2 Arbitrarily, b = 2 and Γ = 2 to plot the system. As the strength of the inner vortex pair increases with γ, the vortex stream thins out, increasing velocity in the net direction of propagation, in this case downwards.
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Figure 5: Vortex pairs modeling a wing with inboard ﬂaps deployed. Plots of motion of vortices for γ = 0.2, 0.4, 0.6, respectively. n = 4, Γi = b b b b [−Γ; −γΓ; γΓ; Γ], initPos = [− 2 , 0; − 4 , 0; 4 , 0; 2 , 0], ￿t = 0.01s, tf = 30s Simulation 2. Symmetric counter-rotating vortex pairs model the initial conditions of the vortex wake of an aircraft wing with tip ﬂaps deployed. The initial conﬁgurations of these vortices are: b b b b [(− , 0, −Γ), (− , 0, γΓ), ( , 0, −γΓ), ( , 0, Γ)] 2 4 4 2 Arbitrarily, b = 2 and Γ = 2 for plotting. As γ increases, the vortex stream spirals into itself and decreases velocity in the net direction of propagation, in this case downwards.
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Figure 6: Vortex pairs modeling a wing with tip ﬂaps extended. Plots of motion of vortices for γ = 0.2, 0.4, 0.6, respectively. n = 4, Γi = b b b b [−Γ; γΓ; −γΓ; Γ], initPos = [− 2 , 0; − 4 , 0; 4 , 0; 2 , 0], ￿t = 0.01s, tf = 30s Simulation 3. Four symmetric co-rotating vortex pairs model the initial conditions of the vortex wake of an aircraft wing during takeoﬀ or landing. The 3

two bottom pairs in (3) model the impermeability condition of the ground at y = 0. Arbitrarily, b = 2 and Γ = 2 for plotting. As γ approaches unity, the vortex streams converge into cycloidal behavior. b b b b b b b b [(− , , −Γ), (− , , −γΓ), ( , , γΓ), ( , , Γ)] 2 2 4 2 4 2 2 2 b b b b b b b b [(− , − , Γ), (− , − , γΓ), ( , − , −γΓ), ( , − , −Γ)] 2 2 4 2 4 2 2 2
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(3)

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Figure 7: Symmetric co-rotating vortex pairs modeling a wing during takeoﬀ or landing. Plots of motion of vortices for γ = 0.2, 0.4, 0.6, respectively. n = b b b b 8, Γi = [−Γ; γΓ; −γΓ; Γ], initPos = [− 2 , 0; − 4 , 0; 4 , 0; 2 , 0], ￿t = 0.01s, tf = 15s Simulation 4. The vortex wake of an airplane is modeled as a distribution of N vortices of varying strengths on a line segment. Zooming in on the plot for N = 50 in Fig.8, two distinct vortex streams are seen propagating from the wingtips. As the accuracy of modeling increases with N , these wakes reach uniform width. This elliptical loading is the optimum wing loading for an aircraft wing and simulates real vortex wake from an airplane in-ﬂight. (yi , Γi ) = (
i+ 1 2 N

,￿

2i+1 N i+1 2 ( ) 1− 2 2 N

) where i = −N, ..., 0, ..., N − 1

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Figure 8: Distribution of N vortices of varying strength on a line segment modeling a wing in-ﬂight. Two distinct vortex streams emanate from the wingtips. Plots of motion of vortices for N = 10, 20, 50, respectively. n = N, Γi = 2i+1 i+ 1 [ ￿ Ni+1 ], initPos = [ N2 ], ￿t = 0.001s, tf = 2s
1−
( 2 N2 )2

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