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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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