The low-frequency meander of a trailing vortex shed from a tapered fin installed on a wind tunnel wall has been studied using stereoscopic particle image velocimetry in the near-wake at Mach 0.8. Distributions of the instantaneous vortex position reveal that the meander amplitude increases with downstream distance and decreases with vortex strength, indicating meander is induced external to the vortex. Trends with downstream distance suggest meander begins on the fin surface, prior to vortex shedding. Mean vortex properties are unaltered when considered in the meandering reference frame, apparently because turbulent fluctuations in the vortex shape and strength dominate positional variations. Conversely, a large peak of artificial turbulent kinetic energy is found centered in the vortex core, which almost entirely disappears when corrected for meander, though some turbulence remains near the core radius. Turbulence originating at the wind tunnel wall was shown to contribute to vortex meander by energizing the incoming boundary layer using low-profile vortex generators and observing a substantial increase in the meander amplitude, while greater turbulent kinetic energy penetrates the vortex core. An explanatory mechanism has been hypothesized, in which the vortex initially forms at the apex of the swept leading edge of the fin where it is exposed to turbulent fluctuations within the wind tunnel wall boundary layer, introducing an instability into the incipient vortex core.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 9, 2010
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