Effect of Isolated Micron-Sized Roughness on Transition in Swept-Wing Flows Academic Article uri icon


  • Boundary-layer transition-to-turbulence studies are conducted in the Arizona State University Unsteady Wind Tunnel on a 45-deg swept airfoil. The pressure gradient is designed so that the initial stability characteristics are purely crossflow dominated. Flow-visualization and hot-wire measurements show that the development of the crossflow vortices is influenced by roughness near the attachment line. Comparisons of transition location are made between a painted surface (distributed 9-m peaks and valleys on the surface), a machine-polished surface (0.5-m rms finish), and a hand-polished surface (0.25-m rms finish). Then isolated 6-m roughness elements are placed near the attachment line on the airfoil surface under conditions of the final polish (0.25-m rms). These elements create an enhanced packet of stationary crossflow waves, which results in localized early transition. The diameter, height, and location of these roughness elements are varied in a systematic manner. Spanwise hot-wire measurements are taken behind the roughness element to document the enhanced vortices. These scans are made at several different chord locations to examine vortex growth.

published proceedings

  • AIAA Journal

author list (cited authors)

  • Radeztsky, R. H., Reibert, M. S., & Saric, W. S.

citation count

  • 126

complete list of authors

  • Radeztsky, Ronald H||Reibert, Mark S||Saric, William S

publication date

  • November 1999