Journal of Fluid Mechanics


Dynamic roughness perturbation of a turbulent boundary layer

I. Jacobia1 c1 and B. J. McKeona1

a1 Graduate Aerospace Laboratories, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA


The zero-pressure-gradient turbulent boundary layer over a flat plate was perturbed by a temporally oscillating, spatial impulse of roughness, and the downstream response of the flow field was interrogated by hot-wire anemometry and particle-image velocimetry. The key features common to impulsively perturbed boundary layers, as identified in Jacobi & McKeon (J. Fluid Mech., 2011), were investigated, and the unique contributions of the dynamic perturbation were isolated by contrast with an appropriately matched static impulse of roughness. In addition, the dynamic perturbation was decomposed into separable large-scale and small-scale structural effects, which in turn were associated with the organized wave and roughness impulse aspects of the perturbation. A phase-locked velocity decomposition of the entire downstream flow field revealed strongly coherent modes of fluctuating velocity, with distinct mode shapes for the streamwise and wall-normal velocity components. Following the analysis of McKeon & Sharma (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 658, 2010, pp. 336–382), the roughness perturbation was treated as a forcing of the Navier–Stokes equation and a linearized analysis employing a modified Orr–Sommerfeld operator was performed. The experimentally ascertained wavespeed of the input disturbance was used to solve for the most amplified singular mode of the Orr–Sommerfeld resolvent. These calculated modes were then compared with the streamwise and wall-normal velocity fluctuations. The discrepancies between the calculated Orr–Sommerfeld resolvent modes and those experimentally observed by phase-locked averaging of the velocity field were postulated to result from the violation of the parallel flow assumption of Orr–Sommerfeld analysis, as well as certain non-equilibrium effects of the roughness. Additionally, some difficulties previously observed using a quasi-laminar eigenmode analysis were also observed under the resolvent approach; however, the resolvent analysis was shown to provide reasonably accurate predictions of velocity fluctuations for the forced Orr–Sommerfeld problem over a portion of the boundary layer, with potential applications to designing efficient flow control strategies. The combined experimental and analytical effort provides a new opportunity to examine the non-equilibrium and forcing effects in a dynamically perturbed flow.

(Received December 27 2010)

(Reviewed August 30 2011)

(Accepted September 05 2011)

(Online publication October 27 2011)

Key Words:

  • turbulent boundary layers


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