Journal of Fluid Mechanics


Experimental study of physical mechanisms in the control of supersonic impinging jets using microjets


a1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Florida State University, 2525, Pottsdamer Street, Tallahassee, FL 32310, USA


Supersonic impinging jet(s) inherently produce a highly unsteady flow field. The occurrence of such flows leads to many adverse effects for short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft such as: a significant increase in the noise level, very high unsteady loads on nearby structures and an appreciable loss in lift during hover. In prior studies, we have demonstrated that arrays of microjets, appropriately placed near the nozzle exit, effectively disrupt the feedback loop inherent in impinging jet flows. In these studies, the effectiveness of the control was found to be strongly dependent on a number of geometric and flow parameters, such as the impingement plane distance, microjet orientation and jet operating conditions. In this paper, the effects of some of these parameters that appear to determine control efficiency are examined and some of the fundamental mechanisms behind this control approach are explored. Through comprehensive two- and three-component velocity (and vorticity) field measurements it has been clearly demonstrated that the activation of microjets leads to a local thickening of the jet shear layer, near the nozzle exit, making it more stable and less receptive to disturbances. Furthermore, microjets generate strong streamwise vorticity in the form of well-organized, counter-rotating vortex pairs. This increase in streamwise vorticity is concomitant with a reduction in the azimuthal vorticity of the primary jet. Based on these results and a simplified analysis of vorticity transport, it is suggested that the generation of these streamwise vortices is mainly a result of the redirection of the azimuthal vorticity by vorticity tilting and stretching mechanisms. The emergence of these longitudinal structures weakens the large-scale axisymmetric structures in the jet shear layer while introducing substantial three-dimensionality into the flow. Together, these factors lead to the attenuation of the feedback loop and a significant reduction of flow unsteadiness.

(Received September 13 2006)

(Revised June 16 2008)

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