Journal of Fluid Mechanics

The effect of flow oscillations on cavity drag

M.  Gharib a1p1 and A.  Roshko a1
a1 Graduate Aeronautical Laboratories, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA

Article author query
gharib m   [Google Scholar] 
roshko a   [Google Scholar] 


An experimental investigation of flow over an axisymmetric cavity shows that self-sustained, periodic oscillations of the cavity shear layer are associated with low cavity drag. In this low-drag mode the flow regulates itself to fix the mean-shear-layer stagnation point at the downstream corner. Above a critical value of the cavity width-to-depth ratio there is an abrupt and large increase of drag due to the onset of the ‘wake mode’ of instability. It is also shown by measurement of the momentum balance how the drag of the cavity is related to the state of the shear layer, as defined by the mean momentum transport $\rho\overline{u}\overline{v}$ and the Reynolds stress $\rho\overline{u^{\prime}v^{\prime}}$, and how these are related to the amplifying oscillations in the shear layer. The cavity shear layer is found to be different, in several respects, from a free shear layer.

(Published Online April 21 2006)
(Received March 11 1986)
(Revised September 10 1986)

p1 Present address: Department of Applied Mechanics and Engineering Sciences, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093, USA.