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  • Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Volume 630
  • July 2009, pp. 129-153

Dynamics of laminar separation bubbles at low-Reynolds-number aerofoils

  • R. HAIN (a1), C. J. KÄHLER (a1) and R. RADESPIEL (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 10 July 2009

The laminar separation bubble on an SD7003 aerofoil at a Reynolds number Re = 66000 was investigated to determine the dominant frequencies of the transition process and the flapping of the bubble. The measurements were performed with a high-resolution time-resolved particle image velocimetry (TR-PIV) system. Contrary to typical measurements performed through conventional PIV, the different modes can be identified by applying TR-PIV. The interaction between the shed vortices is analysed, and their significance for the production of turbulence is presented. In the shear layer above the bubble the generation and amplification of vortices due to Kelvin–Helmholtz instabilities is observed. It is found that these instabilities have a weak coherence in the spanwise direction. In a later stage of transition these vortices lead to a three-dimensional breakdown to turbulence.

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S. Burgmann , C. Brücker & W. Schröder 2006 Scanning PIV measurements of a laminar separation bubble. Exp. Fluids 41, 319326.

R. Hain & C. J. Kähler 2007 Fundamentals of multiframe particle image velocimetry (PIV). Exp. Fluids 42, 575587.

R. Hain , C. J. Kähler & C. Tropea 2007 Comparison of CCD, CMOS and intensified cameras. Exp. Fluids 42, 403411.

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M. V. Ol , E. Hanff , B. McAuliffe , U. Scholz & C. Kähler 2005 Comparison of laminar separation bubble measurements on a low Reynolds number airfoil in three facilities. In 35th AIAA Fluid Dynamics Conf. and Exhibit, Toronto, ON, Canada. Paper 2005-5149. AIAA.

M. Piirto , P. Saarenrinne , H. Eloranta & R. Karvinen 2003 Measuring turbulence energy with PIV in a backward-facing step flow. Exp. Fluids 35, 219236.

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P. G. Wilson & L. L. Pauley 1998 Two- and three-dimensional large-eddy simulations of a transitional separation bubble. Phys. Fluids 10, 29322940.

J. Windte , U. Scholz & R. Radespiel 2006 Validation of the RANS-simulation of laminar separation bubbles on airfoils. Aerosp. Sci. Technol. 10, 484494.

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Journal of Fluid Mechanics
  • ISSN: 0022-1120
  • EISSN: 1469-7645
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-fluid-mechanics
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