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Physical description of boundary-layer transition: Experimental evidenceThe problems of understanding the origins of turbulent flow and transition to turbulent flow are the most important unsolved problems of fluid mechanics and aerodynamics. It is well known that the stability, transition, and turbulent characteristics of bounded shear layers are fundamentally different from those of free shear layers. Likewise, the stability, transition, and turbulent characteristics of open systems are fundamentally different from those of closed systems. Because of the influence of indigenous disturbances, surface geometry and roughness, sound, heat transfer, and ablation, it is not possible to develop general prediction schemes for transition location and the nature of turbulent structures in boundary-layer flows. At the present time no mathematical model exists that can predict the transition Reynolds number on a flat plate. The recent progress in this area is encouraging, in that a number of distinct transition mechanisms have been found experimentally. The theoretical work finds them to be amplitude and Reynolds-number dependent. The theory remains rather incomplete with regard to predicting transition. Amplitude and spectral characteristics of the disturbances inside the laminar viscous layer strongly influence which type of transition occurs. The major need in this area is to understand how freestream disturbances are entrained into the boundary layer, i.e., to answer the question of receptivity. We refer receptivity to the mechanism(s) that cause freestream disturbances to enter the boundary layer and create the initial amplitudes for unstable waves.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Saric, William S.
(Arizona State Univ. Tempe, AZ, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
April 1, 1994
Publication Information
Publication: AGARD, Special Course on Progress in Transition Modelling
Subject Category
Fluid Mechanics And Heat Transfer
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
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