A methodology for simulating compressible turbulent flows

Hermann F. Fasel, Dominic A. Von Terzi, Richard D. Sandberg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Scopus citations


A Flow Simulation Methodology (FSM) is presented for computing the time-dependent behavior of complex compressible turbulent flows. The development of FSM was initiated in close collaboration with C. Speziale (then at Boston University). The objective of FSM is to provide the proper amount of turbulence modelling for the unresolved scales while directly computing the largest scales. The strategy is implemented by using state-of-the-art turbulence models (as developed for RANS) and scaling of the model terms with a "contribution function". The contribution function is dependent on the local and instantaneous "physical" resolution in the computation. This "physical" resolution is determined during the actual simulation by comparing the size of the smallest relevant scales to the local grid size used in the computation. The contribution function is designed such that it provides no modelling if the computation is locally well resolved so that it approaches a DNS in the fine-grid limit and such that it provides modelling of all scales in the coarse-grid limit and thus approaches an unsteady RANS calculation. In between these resolution limits, the contribution function adjusts the necessary modelling for the unresolved scales while the larger (resolved) scales are computed as in traditional LES. However, FSM is distinctly different from LES in that it allows for a consistent transition between (unsteady) RANS, LES, and DNS within the same simulation depending on the local flow behavior and "physical" resolution. As a consequence, FSM should require considerably fewer grid points for a given calculation than would be necessary for a traditional LES. This conjecture is substantiated by employing FSM to calculate the flow over a backward-facing step at low Mach number and a supersonic, axisymmetric baseflow. These examples were chosen such that they expose, on the one hand, the inherent difficulties of simulating (physically) complex flows, and, on the other hand, demonstrate the potential of the FSM approach for a wide range of compressible flows.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 4th ASME/JSME Joint Fluids Engineering Conference
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 1, Part C, Forums
EditorsA. Ogut, Y. Tsuji, M. Kawahashi
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)0791836967, 9780791836965
StatePublished - 2003
Event4th ASME/JSME Joint Fluids Engineering Conference - Honolulu, HI, United States
Duration: Jul 6 2003Jul 10 2003

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ASME/JSME Joint Fluids Engineering Conference
Volume1 C


Other4th ASME/JSME Joint Fluids Engineering Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityHonolulu, HI


  • Axisymmetric supersonic baseflow
  • Backward-facing step
  • Coherent structures
  • Compressible flow
  • FSM
  • LES
  • RANS
  • Turbulence modelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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