A defining feature of the turbulent free shear layer is that its growth is hindered by compressibility effects, thus limiting its potential to sufficiently mix the injected fuel and surrounding airstream at the supersonic Mach numbers intrinsic to the combustor of air-breathing hypersonic vehicles. The introduction of streamwise vorticity is often proposed in an attempt to counteract these undesired effects. This fact makes the strategy of introducing multiple streamwise vortices and imposing upon them certain modes of mutual interaction in order to potentially enhance mixing an intriguing concept. However, many underlying fundamental characteristics of the flowfields in the presence such interactions are not yet well understood; therefore, the fundamental physics of these flowfields should be independently investigated before the explicit mixing performance is characterized. In this work, experimental measurements are taken with the stereoscopic particle image velocimetry technique on two specifically targeted modes of vortex interaction—the merging and non-merging of two corotating vortices. The fluctuating velocity fields are analyzed utilizing the proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) in order to identify the content, organization, and distribution of the modal turbulent kinetic energy content of the fluctuating velocity eigenmodes. The effects of the two modes of vortex interaction are revealed by the POD analysis which shows distinct differences in the modal features of the two cases. When comparing the low-order eigenmodes of the two cases, the size of the structures contained within the first ten modes is seen to increase as the flow progresses downstream for the merging case, whereas the opposite is true for the non-merging case. Additionally, the relative modal energy contribution of the first ten eigenmodes increases as the vortices evolve downstream for the merging case, whereas in the non-merging case the relative modal energy contribution decreases. The POD results show that the vortex merging process reorients and redistributes the relative turbulent kinetic energy content toward the larger-scale structures within the low-order POD eigenmodes. This result suggests that by specifically designing the vortex generation system to impose preselected modes of vortex interaction upon the flow it is possible to exert some form of control over the downstream evolution and distribution of the global and modal turbulent kinetic energy content.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 30, 2016
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