Visualization of the structural response of a hypersonic turbulent boundary layer to convex curvature Academic Article uri icon


  • The effects of convex curvature on the outer structure of a Mach 4.9 turbulent boundary layer (Re = 4.7 104) are investigated using condensate Rayleigh scattering and analyzed using spatial correlations, intermittencyfractal theory. It is found that the post-expansion boundary layer structure morphology appears subtle, but certain features exhibit a more obvious response. The large-scale flow structures survive the initial expansion, appearing to maintain the same physical size. However, due to the nature of the expansion fan, a differential acceleration effect takes place across the flow structures, causing them to be reoriented, leaning farther away from the wall. The onset of intermittency moves closer towards the boundary layer edge and the region of intermittent flow decreases. It is likely that this reflects the less frequent penetration of outer irrotational fluid into the boundary layer, consistent with a boundary layer that is losing its ability to entrain freestream fluid. The fractal dimension of the turbulent/nonturbulent interface decreases with increasing favorable pressure gradient, indicating that the interface's irregularity decreases. Because fractal scale similarity does not encompass the largest scales, this suggests that the change in fractal dimension is due to the action of the smaller-scales, consistent with the idea that the small-scale flow structures are quenched during the expansion in response to bulk dilatation. 2012 American Institute of Physics.

published proceedings

  • Physics of Fluids

author list (cited authors)

  • Humble, R. A., Peltier, S. J., & Bowersox, R.

citation count

  • 25

complete list of authors

  • Humble, RA||Peltier, SJ||Bowersox, RDW

publication date

  • October 2012