The objective of this grant was to study the transition mechanisms on a flat-plate boundary layer interacting with the wake of a bluff body. This is a simplified configuration presented and designed to exemplify the phenomena that occur in multi-element airfoils, in which the wake of an upstream element impinges on a downstream one. Some experimental data is available for this configuration at various Reynolds numbers. The first task carried out was the implementation and validation of the immersed-boundary method. This was achieved by performing calculations of the flow over a cylinder at low and moderate Reynolds numbers. The low-Reynolds number results are discussed, which is enclosed as Appendix A. The high-Reynolds number results are presented in a paper in preparation for the Journal of Fluid Mechanics. We performed calculations of the wake-boundary-layer interaction at two Reynolds numbers, Re approximately equal to 385 and 1155. The first case is discussed and a comparison of the two calculations is reported. The simulations indicate that at the lower Reynolds number the boundary layer is buffeted by the unsteady Karman vortex street shed by the cylinder. This is shown: long streaky structures appear in the boundary layer in correspondence of the three-dimensionalities in the rollers. The fluctuations, however, cannot be self-sustained due to the low Reynolds-number, and the flow does not reach a turbulent state within the computational domain. In contrast, in the higher Reynolds-number case, boundary-layer fluctuations persist after the wake has decayed (due, in part, to the higher values of the local Reynolds number Re achieved in this case); some evidence could be observed that a self-sustaining turbulence generation cycle was beginning to be established. A third simulation was subsequently carried out at a higher Reynolds number, Re=3900. This calculation gave results similar to those of the Re=l155 case. Turbulence was established at fairly low Reynolds number, as a consequence of the high level of the free-stream perturbation. An instantaneous flow visualization for that case is shown. A detailed examination of flow statistics in the transitional and turbulent regions, including the evolution of the turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) budget and frequency spectra showed the formation and evolution of turbulent spots characteristic of the bypass transition mechanism. It was also observed that the turbulent eddies achieved an equilibrium, fully developed turbulent states first, as evidenced by the early agreement achieved by the terms in the TKE budget with those observed in turbulent flows. Once a turbulent Reynolds stress profile had been established, the velocity profile began to resemble a turbulent one, first in the inner region and later in the outer region of the wall layer. An extensive comparison of the three cases, including budgets, mean velocity and Reynolds stress profiles and flow visualization, is included. The results obtained are also presented.
Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics