High-bandwidth optical measurements of the second-mode instability in a Mach 6 Quiet Tunnel Conference Paper uri icon


  • Focused schlieren is used in combination with a small-diameter fiber optic and avalanche photodetector to measure second-mode instabilities on a Mach 6 flared-cone model, within the unit Reynolds number range 7.8 to 11.0106 m-1. The second-mode instability is readily observed at f0 ~ O(250 kHz), as is harmonic content at 2f0 and 3f0. A bispectral analysis shows that after sufficient amplification of the second mode, several nonlinear mechanisms become significant. A self-excited nonlinear interaction of the second mode takes place, resulting in an energy transfer to generate higher harmonics. A variety of nonlinear interactions occur, including ones involving 3f0, which have not hitherto been reported in the literature. With increasing Reynolds number, phase-coupled interactions are found to be increasingly intermittent, and there is a significant amplitude modulation of the secondmode disturbance at frequencies significantly lower than f0. At a freestream unit Reynolds number coinciding with the loss of the tunnel's quiet-flow environment, the redistribution of the available energy in the interacting modes eventually involves frequency components throughout much of the spectrum, and there is a filling in of the valleys in between the spectral peaks as the cone boundary layer becomes intermittently turbulent. A parametric study is considered in order to determine the sensitivity of f0 to small angles-of-attack of the test article about 0 and provides a convenient measure of angle misalignment for numerical simulations. 2013 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. All rights reserved.

published proceedings

  • 51st AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition 2013

author list (cited authors)

  • Hofferth, J. W., Humble, R. A., Floryan, D. C., & Saric, W. S.

complete list of authors

  • Hofferth, JW||Humble, RA||Floryan, DC||Saric, WS

publication date

  • August 2013