Naturally occurring instabilities such as the long wave Crow instability are one of the mechanisms that can bring about the break-up of aircraft wake vortex pairs. Encouraging the early onset of such instabilities by active or passive means offers the possibility of accelerating wake break-up and dissipation with favourable consequences in terms of safe aircraft separation and airport capacity. This paper describes an experimental investigation of the evolution of the Crow instability in a counter rotating vortex pair perturbed by a pulsed air sheet. Flow measurements were made using two-dimensional particle image velocimetry and two methods devised to detect wake break-up from the two-dimensional data. Pulsed excitation at a wavelength within the range amplified by the Crow instability resulted in wake break-up and the formation of vortex rings at a downstream distance reduced by up to 37% compared to the baseline case. For excitation at a wavelength outside the excited range early break-up was also observed but the extent of the accelerated break-up was reduced as the amplitude of the excitation was increased.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 14, 2005
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