AE621: I ntroduction to Turbulence

Assignment # 1 Due date: August 17, 2012

1. What is the Kolmogorov's universal equilibrium theory of the small scale turbulence
structure? Using this theory show that
p = [
v
3
s
¸
1
4
,
; : = (ve)
1
4
,
; ¡ = [
v
s
¸
1
2
,

Also, show that in large R
t
turbulent flows the dissipative eddies are quite weak and
small compared to the large energy contained eddies, but they contain essentially all the
turbulent vorticity.
2. Before Kolmogorov published his now-accepted 1941 hypothesis about the dissipative
scales in turbulence (Universal equilibrium theory), G.I. Taylor (1935) had suggested
that the length scale of the dissipative eddies is
z = _
vu
2
e
_
1
2
,

This λ is now called Taylor micro-scale. Determine the Reynolds number
u(x)x
v
of this
λ-sized eddies. Would you say they are directly influenced by viscosity? Develop an
expression for
z
p
, . Was Taylor correct?
3. The large eddies in a turbulent flow have a length scale l, a velocity scale v(l) = u , and
a time scale t(l) = l / u. The smallest eddies have a length scale η, a velocity scale v, and
a time scale τ. Estimate the characteristic velocity v(r) and the characteristic time t(r) of
eddies of size r, where r is any length in the range η < r < l. Do this by assuming that v(r)
and t(r) are determined by ε and r only. Show that your results agree with the known
velocity and time scales at r = l and r = η. Also, show that as eddy size r decreases its
characteristic velocity v(r) decreases but its characteristic vorticity increases.
4. A cubical box of volume I
3
is filled with fluid in turbulent motion. No source of
energy is present, so that the turbulence decays. Because the turbulence is confined to
the box, its length scale may be assumed to be equal to L at all times. Derive an
expression for the decay of the kinetic energy
3
2
u
2
as a function of time. As the
turbulence decays, its Reynolds number decreases. If the Reynolds number uLlv
becomes smaller than 10, say, the inviscid estimate e = u
3
I ⁄ should be replaced by
an estimate of the type e =cvu
2
I
2
⁄ , because the weak eddies remaining at low
Reynolds numbers lose their energy directly to viscous dissipation. Compute c by
requiring that the dissipation rate is continuous at uL / ν = 10. Derive an expression for
the decay of the kinetic energy when uL/v < 10 (this is called the "final" period of
decay). If L = 1m, ν = 1.5×10
-5
m
2
/sec and u = 1m/sec at time t = 0, how long does it
take before the turbulence enters the final period of decay? Assume that the effects of
the walls of the box on the decay of the turbulence may be ignored.

5. Estimate the energy dissipation rate in a cumulus cloud, both per unit mass and for the
entire cloud. Base your estimates on velocity and length scales typical of cumulus
clouds. Compute the total dissipation rate in kilowatts. Also estimate the Kolmogorov's
micro-scale η. Use ρ = 1.25kg/m
3
and ν = 1.5×10
-5
m
2
/sec.
6. An airplane with a hot-wire anemometer mounted on its tip is to fly through the
turbulent boundary layer of the atmosphere at a speed of 50m/sec. The velocity
fluctuations in the atmosphere are of order 0.5m/sec, the length scale of the large eddies
is about 100m. The hot-wire anemometer is to be designed so that it will register the
motion of the smallest eddies. What is the highest frequency the anemometer will
encounter? What should be the length of the hot-wire sensor be?

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