Journal of Fluid Mechanics

Experimental investigation of density fluctuations in high-speed jets and correlation with generated noise

J. PANDA a1a2 and R. G. SEASHOLTZ a2
a1 Ohio Aerospace Institute, Cleveland, OH 44142, USA
a2 NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH 44135, USA


The air density fluctuations in the plumes of fully expanded, unheated free jets were investigated experimentally using a Rayleigh-scattering-based technique. The point measuring technique used a continuous-wave laser, fibre-optic transmission and photon counting electronics. The radial and centreline profiles of time-averaged density and root-mean-square density fluctuation provided a comparative description of jet growth. To measure density fluctuation spectra a two-photomultiplier-tube (PMT) technique was used. Cross-correlation between the two PMT signals significantly reduced the electronic shot noise contribution. The density fluctuation spectra were found to be remarkably similar for all Mach number jets. A detailed survey in fully expanded Mach 0.95, 1.4 and 1.8 jets further confirmed that the distribution of various Strouhal frequency fluctuations remained similar, except for a spatial stretching with increased Mach number. In spite of this similarity in flow fluctuations the noise sources in these three jets were found to be significantly different. Spark schlieren photographs and near-field microphone measurements confirmed that Mach wave radiation was present in the Mach 1.8 jet, and was absent in the Mach 0.95 jet. Direct correlation measurement between the flow density fluctuation (cause) and far-field sound pressure fluctuation (effect) shed further light on the sound generation process. For this purpose a microphone was kept fixed at a far-field point, mostly at a distance of 50 diameters and 30° to the flow direction, and the laser probe volume was moved from point to point in the flow. In the Mach 1.8 jet, where the convective velocity of Kelvin–Helmholtz instability waves exceeded the ambient sound speed, significant correlation was measured from the peripheral shear layer, while in the Mach 0.95 jet, where the instability waves had subsonic convective speed, no correlation could be measured. Although the same instability waves were present in both Mach 1.8 and 0.95 jets, the peripheral shear layer of the former was found to be an obvious noise source, while that of the latter was not. Further correlation studies along the jet centreline showed that behaviour in the region downstream of the potential core was similar in all Mach number jets tested, 0:6[less-than-or-eq, slant]M[less-than-or-eq, slant]1:8. Good correlation at low Strouhal frequencies was measured from this region, which started from downstream of the potential core and extended many diameters from there.

(Received August 28 2000)
(Revised January 2 2001)