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turbulence scales, rise times, caustics, and the simulation of sonic boom propagationThe general topic of atmospheric turbulence effects on sonic boom propagation is addressed with especial emphasis on taking proper and efficient account of the contributions of the portion oi the turbulence that is associated with extremely high wavenumber components. The recent work reported by Bart Lipkens in his doctoral thesis is reexamined to determine whether the good agreement between his measured rise times with the 1971 theory of the author is fortuitous. It is argued that Lipken's estimate of the distance to the first caustic was a gross overestimate because of the use of a sound speed correlation function shaped like a gaussian curve. In particular, it is argued that the expected distance to the first caustic varies with the kinematic viscosity nu and the energy epsilon dissipated per unit mass per unit time, and the sound speed c as : d(sub first caustic) = nu(exp 7/12) c(exp 2/3)/ epsilon(exp 5/12)(nu x epsilon/c(exp 4))(exp a), where the exponent a is greater than -7/12 and can be argued to be either O or 1/24. In any event, the surprising aspect of the relationship is that it actually goes to zero as the viscosity goes to zero with s held constant. It is argued that the apparent overabundance of caustics can be grossly reduced by a general computational and analytical perspective that partitions the turbulence into two parts, divided by a wavenumber k(sub c). Wavenumbers higher than kc correspond to small-scale turbulence, and the associated turbulence can be taken into account by a renormalization of the ambient sound speed so that the result has a small frequency dependence that results from a spatial averaging over of the smaller-scale turbulent fluctuations. Selection of k(sub c). can be made so large that only a very small number of caustics are encountered if one adopts the premise that the frequency dispersion of pulses is caused by that part of the turbulence spectrum which lies in the inertial range originally predicted by Kolmogoroff. The acoustic propagating wave's dispersion relation has the acoustic wavenumber being of the form k = (omega/c) + F(omega), where c is a spatially averaged sound speed and where, for mechanical turbulence, the extra term F(omega) must depend on only the angular frequency omega, the sound speed c, and the turbulent energy dissipation epsilon per unit fluid mass and per unit time. If the turbulence is weak, then the quantity F(omega) has to be of second order in the portions of the turbulent fluid velocity in the inertial range, so, following Kolmogoroff's reasoning, it must vary with epsilon as epsilon(exp 2/3). Simple dimensional analysis then reveals that F(omega) is K epsilon(exp 2/3) c(exp -7/3) omega(exp l/3), K being a universal dimensionless complex constant.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Pierce, Allan D.
(Boston Univ. Boston, MA United States)
Date Acquired
August 17, 2013
Publication Date
July 1, 1996
Publication Information
Publication: The 1995 NASA High-Speed Research Program Sonic Boom Workshop
Volume: 1
Subject Category
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle19960055049Analytic PrimaryThe 1995 NASA High-Speed Research Program Sonic Boom Workshop
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