Short-wave instabilities on a vortex pair of unequal strength circulation ratio

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The creation of vortex pairs occurs in a range of industries, including mixing, transport, and plastic moulding. In particular, vortex pairs are observed in the wake of aircraft, and are the
cause of a significant hazard in the aviation industry. Instabilities, which grow on vortex pairs, have the potential to lead to enhanced dissipation, thus limiting this safety concern, in addition to enhancing mixing in chemical engineering industries. To date research has mostly considered instabilities growing on a vortex pair where each vortex has the same magnitude of circulation. However, in practice it is unusual to have an equal-strength vortex pair. This investigation is the first to consider the instability modes that may develop on a Lamb–Oseen vortex pair of arbitrary circulation ratio. We find a significant change in the
growth rates of all instability modes reported previously for an equal-strength vortex pair. All simulations employ an accurate spectral-element method to discretise the domain coupled
with a three-step time splitting scheme. A wide range of instability wavelengths is considered to ensure that all instability modes are captured. By identifying and enhancing the leading instability modes, we are able to enhance the dissipation of the vortex pair.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1581-1590
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Mathematical Modelling
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Vortex interaction
  • Vortex adaptation
  • Perturbation analysis
  • Kelvin modes
  • Crow instability

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