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Dynamical system approach to instability of flow past a circular cylinder

  • TAPAN K. SENGUPTA (a1), NEELU SINGH (a1) and V. K. SUMAN (a1)

The main aim of this paper is to relate instability modes with modes obtained from proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) in the study of global spatio-temporal nonlinear instabilities for flow past a cylinder. This is a new development in studying nonlinear instabilities rather than spatial and/or temporal linearized analysis. We highlight the importance of multi-modal interactions among instability modes using dynamical system and bifurcation theory approaches. These have been made possible because of accurate numerical simulations. In validating computations with unexplained past experimental results, we noted that (i) the primary instability depends upon background disturbances and (ii) the equilibrium amplitude obtained after the nonlinear saturation of primary growth of disturbances does not exhibit parabolic variation with Reynolds number, as predicted by the classical Stuart–Landau equation. These are due to the receptivity of the flow to background disturbances for post-critical Reynolds numbers (Re) and multi-modal interactions, those produce variation in equilibrium amplitude for the disturbances that can be identified as multiple Hopf bifurcations. Here, we concentrate on Re = 60, which is close to the observed second bifurcation. It is also shown that the classical Stuart–Landau equation is not adequate, as it does not incorporate multi-modal interactions. To circumvent this, we have used the eigenfunction expansion approach due to Eckhaus and the resultant differential equations for the complex amplitudes of disturbance field have been called here the Landau–Stuart–Eckhaus (LSE) equations. This approach has not been attempted before and here it is made possible by POD of time-accurate numerical simulations. Here, various modes have been classified either as a regular mode or as anomalous modes of the first or the second kind. Here, the word anomalous connotes non-compliance with the Stuart–Landau equation, although the modes originate from the solution of the Navier–Stokes equation. One of the consequences of multi-modal interactions in the LSE equations is that the amplitudes of the instability modes are governed by stiff differential equations. This is not present in the traditional Stuart–Landau equation, as it retains only the nonlinear self-interaction. The stiffness problem of the LSE equations has been resolved using the compound matrix method.

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