Characteristics of acoustic and hydrodynamic waves in under-expanded supersonic impinging jets

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In this study large-eddy simulations of under-expanded supersonic impinging jets are performed to develop a better understanding of the characteristics of the acoustic and hydrodynamic waves. Time history, dispersion relation and autocorrelation of the velocity and pressure fluctuations are used to investigate the propagation velocity, time and length scales of the dominant flow structures in the shear layer and near field. The mechanism by which the initial high-frequency instabilities change to low-frequency coherent structures within a short distance is investigated utilising Mach energy norm and linear spatial instability analysis with streamwise varying mean flow profiles. It is shown that the hydrodynamic and acoustic wavepackets have different propagation velocities and length scales while having a similar dominant frequency. It is also observed that the hydrodynamic wavepackets form approximately one jet diameter downstream of the nozzle lip. No evidence has been found to support the 'collective interactive' mechanism proposed by Ho & Nosseir (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 105, 1981, pp. 119-142). The 'vortex pairing' proposed by Winant & Browand (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 63, 1974, pp. 237-255) is observed near the nozzle; however, it has an insignificant role in the sharp reduction of the most unstable frequency of disturbances. Nonetheless, both Mach energy norm and linear spatial instability analyses show that the most unstable frequency of disturbances decreases rapidly in a very short distance from the nozzle lip in the near-nozzle region through the spatial growth of instabilities where the linear instability analysis overpredicts the frequency of the most unstable instabilities downstream of the nozzle.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA34
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Publication statusPublished - 25 Dec 2020


  • high-speed flow
  • jets
  • shear layer turbulence

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