The generation of screech tones by shock leakage

Daniel Edgington-Mitchell, Joel Weightman, Samuel Lock, Rhiannon Kirby, Vineeth Nair, Julio Soria, Damon Honnery

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9 Citations (Scopus)


The mechanism underpinning the generation of screech tones has remained an open question for many years. In this paper, direct experimental observations of the shock-leakage mechanism first proposed by Manning & Lele (AIAA Paper 1998, p. 282) are presented. Ultra-high-speed schlieren images are filtered to preserve only upstream-propagating components, with the upstream motion of the shock tip and subsequent emission of an acoustic wave visible for a number of operating conditions. The flow visualizations are supported by the ray-tracing model for shock leakage of Shariff & Manning (Phys. Fluids., vol. 25, issue 7, 2013, 076103), applied to velocity fields corresponding to a reconstructed screech cycle. The predictions of the model, when applied to real data, are in close agreement with the phenomena observed in the flow visualizations. It is demonstrated that shock leakage does not necessarily occur either at the point of maximum wave amplitude or maximum vorticity fluctuation. While the first point of shock leakage is shown to vary between cases, sound emission from multiple sources is observed for most cases considered. Finally, it is shown that variations in vortex strength captured in the velocity data are sufficient to explain variation in shock-leakage location observed in the flow visualization data.

Original languageEnglish
Article number908A46
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2020


  • aeroacoustics
  • high-speed flow
  • jet noise

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