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CHIN. PHYS. LETT. Vol. 28, No.

3 (2011) 034703

Statistical Analysis of Coherent Vortical Structures in a Supersonic Turbulent Boundary Layer *


WANG Li(), LU Xi-Yun()**
Department of Modern Mechanics, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026

(Received 29 October 2010)


Characteristics of coherent vortical structures in a compressible turbulent boundary layer are statistically analyzed by means of direct numerical simulation of the compressible NavierStokes equations for Mach number = 2 and Reynolds number 1000 based on the inlet momentum thickness. It is found that a large variety of hairpin-like and cane-like vortical structures exist in the boundary layer and the most popular structure is the cane-like one. The injection and sweep events contribute a major proportion of the total Reynolds stress. This study indicates structural similarities with the incompressible case. Moreover, the length scales of coherent structures in the streamwise and spanwise directions increase with the distance from the wall. The inclination angle of coherent vortical structures with respect to the streamwise direction increases from the sublayer to the buffer layer and then decreases from the buffer layer to the wake region.

PACS: 47.27.De, 47.27.ek, 47.27.nb, 47.40.-x Coherent structures in turbulent wall-bounded flows play an important role in generating and sustaining turbulence. These structures are responsible for turbulent momentum transport and Reynold stress production, and are closely associated with ejections and sweeps.[1] Although a large amount of work has been devoted to the study of coherent structures, their creation process and dynamics are still not fully understood,[2] in particular for compressible turbulent wall-bounded flows because of their complexity.[3,4] Moreover, analysis of the coherent vortical structures of a supersonic turbulent boundary layer has been very limited so far[57] and deserves further investigation. In this Letter, coherent structures of a supersonic turbulent boundary layer are statistically characterized by means of a highly resolved direct numerical simulation (DNS). We consider a supersonic turbulent boundary layer at Mach number = 2 and Reynolds number 0 = 13500 based on the inlet boundary layer thickness 0 or 1000 based on the momentum thickness . The three-dimensional (3D) compressible Navier Stokes equations are numerically solved by a seventhorder-weighted essentially non-oscillatory scheme for the convective terms and a sixth-order central difference scheme for the viscous terms. The temporal integration is performed using a fourth-order Runge Kutta algorithm. After careful examination, the computational domain is chosen as 300 30 3.70 with grid number 1820 252 225 in the streamwise (), wall-normal () and spanwise () directions. The grid is divided uniformly in the streamwise and spanwise direction, and grid stretching is employed in the wallnormal direction to increase the grid resolution near

DOI: 10.1088/0256-307X/28/3/034703 the wall. To validate the present simulation, the typical distribution of density-scaled Reynolds stress and the rms vorticity components are shown in Fig. 1. It is seen that the calculated results agree well with the previous DNS data of a turbulent boundary layer at = 2 and = 949.[6]
(a) 8 6 R11 R22 R33 R12

R11

4 2 0

-2 (b) 0.4 0.3 1 2 3

1
0.2 0.1 0.0 0

20

40

y+

60

80

100

Fig. 1. Distributions of (a) density-scaled Reynolds stress components and (b) the rms vorticity components at = 250 . The symbols denote the previous DNS data of a turbulent boundary layer at = 2 and = 949.[6]

We first identify the vortical structures in physical space. The 3D instantaneous vortical structures educed by -criterion is exhibited in Fig. 2. It is observed that the boundary layer is populated by symmetric hairpin-like and asymmetric hairpin-like (or cane-like) structures attached to the wall.[2] For com-

* Supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant No 11072236, and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No WK2090050007). ** To whom correspondence should be addressed. Email: xlu@ustc.edu.cn 2011 Chinese Physical Society and IOP Publishing Ltd

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parison, experimental results for an incompressible turbulent boundary layer reveal that the shape of the most probable coherent structures corresponds to an asymmetric one-legged hairpin vortex.[2] Results from a DNS of a zero-pressure-gradient plate incompressible boundary layer reported that a forest of hairpins dominates the boundary layer.[8] Further, to quantitatively characterize the features of coherent vortical structures in the supersonic turbulent boundary layer, statistical analysis is performed in the following.

x z
22 24

popular than the other events in the boundary layer and are also responsible for a large proportion of the sum of Reynolds shear stress in the four quadrants. In particular, in the near-wall region for + < 10, although injection is more popular than sweep, the contribution to Reynolds shear stress from the sweep is larger than that from the injection. In contrast, for the region + > 10, although sweep is more popular than injection, the injection contributes more to the Reynolds shear stress. We further characterize the length scale of the coherent vortical structures. Two-point correlations of the fluctuating streamwise velocity are analyzed.[9] In the plane, the correlations are defined as (, , ref ) = (, ref ) ( + , ) , (ref ) () (1)

20

x
18 0 1

z 2

16 3

Fig. 2. Instantaneous vortical structures in the boundary layer educed by isosurface of -criterion and colored by the streamwise velocity.
(a)

0.4

Q1 Q2

Q3 Q4

0.2
(b)

where ref is the reference wall-normal location at which the correlation is computed, is the in-plane streamwise separation, (ref ) and () are the rms values of at locations ref and , respectively. As shown in Fig. 4, it is identified that the elongated vortices lean in the forward streamwise direction at an angle which increases with the distance from the wall. The length scales of coherent structures in the streamwise and spanwise directions increase with the increase of distance from the wall. Furthermore, the contours in Fig. 4(d) at ref = are nearly symmetric with respect to / = 0, indicating that the coherent structures are nearly parallel to the wall. This behavior is consistent with the experimental findings of compressible turbulent boundary layers.[9]
2 (a) (b)

Vf
1.0

<uv>

0.5 0.0
y/
1

-0.5 100 101

y+

102

0 2

(c)

(d)

Fig. 3. Quadrant analysis of injection and sweep in the compressible boundary layer: (a) volume fraction of the four quadrants, (b) contribution of the four quadrants to Reynolds shear stress.

y/

We then study the effect of injection and sweep on the Reynolds shear stress using quadrant analysis, where and represent the streamwise and wall-normal fluctuating velocity components, respectively. The plane can be split into four regions, where the first quadrant (1 ) with > 0 and > 0 represents outward interaction, the second quadrant (2 ) with < 0 and > 0 injection event, the third quadrant (3 ) with < 0 and < 0 inward interaction, and the forth quadrant (4 ) with the > 0 and < 0 sweep event. As shown in Fig. 3 for the statistical quantities in the four quadrants for fully developed turbulence, injection and sweep are more

-1

-1

Dx/

Dx/

Fig. 4. Two-point correlations of streamwise fluctuating velocity in the plane at four reference locations of + the boundary layer: (a) ref = 50, (b) ref = 0.3, (c) ref = 0.5, (d) ref = .

Moreover, to deal with the streamwise length scale of coherent structures near the wall, the two-point correlations in the plane are defined as (, ) = (, ) ( + , + ) . 2 (, ) (2)

From the patterns in Fig. 5 in four planes parallel to the wall for + < 100, the streamwise length scale of

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coherent structures does not change significantly for + < 50. It is also identified that the correlations in the plane are positive, indicating that the most popular coherent vortical structures exhibited in Fig. 2 should be the cane-like ones.[9]
(a) 0.1 (b)

-0.1 (c) 0.1 (d)

-0.1 -0.2 0 0.2 -0.2 0 0.2

Dx/

Dx/

Fig. 5. Two-point correlations of streamwise fluctuating velocity in the plane at four planes parallel to the wall: (a) + = 5, (b) + = 20, (c) + = 50, (d) + = 75.
(a) 31O (b) 45O 0.25

the projection angles of coherent structures in the , and plane are represented as , and , respectively. The covariance integrand in the plane is shown in Fig. 6. Four typical locations lying in the sublayer, the buffer layer, the logarithmic region and the wake region are considered. The covariance plots reveal that the dominance of the contributions comes from the quadrants 1 ( > 0, > 0) and 3 ( < 0, < 0). The inclination angles of the coherent structures with respect to the -axis or to the streamwise direction are inferred from the peaks of the covariance distributions. The angles at + = 5, 20, 50 and / = 0.3 are then obtained to be 31 , 45 , 42 and 39 , respectively. It is interesting to learn for the first time that increases from the sublayer to the buffer layer. Then, decreases from the buffer layer to the wake region, which is consistent with experimental findings for the incompressible turbulent boundary layer.[10]
0.0 (a) 1.0 0.5 (b)

Dz/

Dz/

0.50

-0.5

0 -0.25 -31O -0.50 0.50 0.25 (c) 42O 39O -45O (d)

-1.0 -1.5 -7O -2.0 -1 0.4 0.2 (c) -0.5 0 7O 0.5 1

0.0 -0.5 -1.0 -1 -22O -0.5 0 22O 0.5 1

0.4 (d) 0.2 0.0 -0.2

z
-42O -39O

0 -0.25 -0.50

0.0 -0.2 -0.4 -45O -0.4 -0.2 0 45O 0.2 0.4

-0.4

-49O -0.4 -0.2 0

49O 0.2 0.4

0.50 0.25

0 -0.25-0.50 0.50 0.25

0 -0.25-0.50

Fig. 6. Contours of the covariance integrand in the plane at different wall-normal locations: (a) + = 5, contour level [0.1, 0.05]; (b) + = 20, [0.02, 0.1]; (c) + = 50, [0.05, 0.3]; (d) / = 0.3, [0.1, 0.6]. The solid lines represent the positive values and the dashed lines the negative ones.

Fig. 7. Contours of the covariance integrand in the plane: (a) + = 5, contour level [0.35, 0.35]; (b) + = 20, [0.1, 0.1]; (c) + = 50, [0.2, 0.2]; (d) / = 0.3, [0.4, 0.4].

Finally, we investigate the inclination angles of coherent vortical structures using statistical analysis of the covariance of two vorticity components, defined as[10] = ( , ) , (3) where ( , ) is the joint probability density function of and . The integral of the covariance integrand ( , ) represents the contribution of the particular simultaneous combination of sign and magnitude of and to the vorticity covariance .[10] In a statistical sense, the projection angles can be recognized from the ratio of the most possible vorticity components, i.e. = arctan( / ). Here,

From the covariance integrand in the plane shown in Fig. 7, it is seen that the dominance of the contributions occurs in the quadrants 3 ( < 0, < 0) and 4 ( > 0, < 0). The inclined angles of coherent structures with respect to the -axis or to the spanwise direction can be inferred from the locations of the peaks of covariances. At + = 5 in Fig. 7(a), the contours elongate in the -axis, indicating that the coherent structures are oriented primarily in the spanwise direction. At + = 20, according to the major contributions, is obtained to be 22 with respect to the negative -axis. Then, increases with the distance from the wall, indicating that the vortical structures evolve towards the stream-

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wise direction. Moreover, based on the analysis of the covariance integrand in the plane (not shown here), the behaviors of coherent vortical structures are similar to those in the plane. In summary, characteristics of coherent vortical structures in a compressible turbulent boundary layer are quantitatively analyzed. It is found that there are a large variety of hairpin-like and cane-like vortical structures in the boundary layer and the most popular structure is the cane-like one. Injection and sweep events contribute a major proportion of the total Reynolds stress. These behaviors indicate the similarities with the incompressible case. Moreover, the length scales of coherent structures in the streamwise and spanwise direction increase with the distance from the wall. The inclination angle of coherent vortical structures with respect to the streamwise direction increases from the sublayer to the buffer layer and then

decreases from the buffer layer to the wake region.

References
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