High-resolution two-dimensional (2D) measurements on a large plane mixing layer provide new quantitative information of its spatial and temporal evolution to turbulence. Periodic acoustic excitation with three frequencies was used to stabilize the fundamental instability of the mixing layer (roll-up) and its first and second subharmonics (vortex pairings). Phase-locked velocity measurements of the time evolution in 2D space (x, y, t) reveal accurate spatially resolved primary (2D) instabilities of the mixing layer and turbulence transition. The measurements unveil new quantitative details of the initial Kelvin–Helmholtz waves and their spatial and temporal evolution into vortex shedding and the effect of the second subharmonic on the first vortex pairing. The second-subharmonic effect hastens alternate first pairings of the rollers, with the result that pairing is completed at two downstream locations. The pairings that occur closer to the knife-edge are more organized (laminar) than those occurring farther downstream (transitional). This effect is corroborated using Taylor’s hypothesis to compute the vorticity distributions from the measured velocity field and a pseudo-spectral simulation of the temporal evolution of the mixing layer.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 23, 1999
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