Journal of Fluid Mechanics

Wall-pressure fluctuations associated with subsonic turbulent boundary layer flow

M. K.  Bull a1
a1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Adelaide, South Australia

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Experimental results are given for various statistical properties of the fluctuating wall-pressure field associated with a subsonic turbulent equilibrium boundary layer, developed on a smooth wind tunnel wall after natural transition from laminar to turbulent flow.

The statistical quantities of the wall-pressure field investigated were root-mean-square pressure, frequency power spectrum and space-time correlations. Space-time correlation measurements were made in both broad and narrow frequency bands. The experiments were made at flow Mach numbers of 0·3 and 0·5 and covered a Reynolds number range of about 5 to 1.

The main conclusion to which the measurements lead is that the wall-pressure field has a structure produced by contributions from pressure sources in the boundary layer with a wide range of convection velocities, and comprises two families of convected wave-number components. One family is of high wave-number components and is associated with turbulent motion in the constant stress layer; the components are longitudinally coherent for times proportional to the times taken for them to be convected distances equal to their wavelengths and laterally coherent over distances proportional to their wavelengths. The other family comprises components of wavelength greater than about twice the boundary-layer thickness, which lose coherence as a group more or less independently of wavelength and are associated with large-scale eddy motion in the boundary layer, outside the constant stress layer. The evolution of the pressure field is discussed in terms of these two wave-number families.

(Published Online March 28 2006)
(Received March 17 1964)
(Revised July 18 1966)