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Low-dimensional dynamics of a turbulent axisymmetric wake

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 August 2014

G. Rigas*
Department of Aeronautics, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK
A. R. Oxlade
Department of Aeronautics, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK
A. S. Morgans
Department of Aeronautics, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK
J. F. Morrison
Department of Aeronautics, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK
Email address for correspondence:


The coherent structures of a turbulent wake generated behind a bluff three-dimensional axisymmetric body are investigated experimentally at a diameter-based Reynolds number of $\def \xmlpi #1{}\def \mathsfbi #1{\boldsymbol {\mathsf {#1}}}\let \le =\leqslant \let \leq =\leqslant \let \ge =\geqslant \let \geq =\geqslant \def \Pr {\mathit {Pr}}\def \Fr {\mathit {Fr}}\def \Rey {\mathit {Re}}{\sim }2\times 10^5$. Proper orthogonal decomposition of base pressure measurements indicates that the most energetic coherent structures retain the structure of the symmetry-breaking laminar instabilities and are manifested as unsteady vortex shedding with azimuthal wavenumber $m={\pm }1$. In a rotating reference frame, the shedding preserves the reflectional symmetry and is linked with a reflectionally symmetric mean pressure distribution on the base. Due to a slow rotation of the symmetry plane of the turbulent wake around the axis of the body, statistical axisymmetry is recovered in the time average. The ratio of the time scales associated with the slow rotation of the symmetry plane and the vortex shedding is of order 100.

© 2014 Cambridge University Press 

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