Flow Similarity in Swept Shock/Boundary Layer Interactions

Sathyan Padmanabhan, James A.S. Threadgill, Jesse C. Little

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


Numerical studies on fundamental swept shock boundary layer interactions (SBLI) are carried out to understand the flow similarity. Inviscid shock detachment has been hypothesized to cause the development of quasi-conical similarity (separation and reattachment lines diverging along the span). Whereas for the attached shock, quasi-cylindrical interactions (separation and reattachment lines are parallel) are expected. To understand the flow similarity, laminar SBLIs induced by swept impinging shocks (SIS) and swept compression ramps (SCR) are considered for M = 2.3. A test matrix is chosen to ensure all the cases are well below the inviscid shock detachment limit for a prescribed sweep angle. Skin-friction lines and mean pressure rise show that all cases display quasi-conical behavior. Also, the interaction developed from the two different shock configurations (SIS and SCR) presents similar features. These results suggest the inviscid detachment is not the mechanism that establishes the flow similarity. Open questions remain on whether the quasi-cylindrical observations in swept interactions are influenced by the limited aspect ratio in typical university-scale wind tunnels. Turbulent simulations using FANS assuming quasi-infinite shock generators show quasi-cylindrical interactions are present and consistent with past experiments. This suggests that quasi-cylindrical interactions are possible for weakly separated flows.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA SciTech Forum 2022
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624106316
StatePublished - 2022
EventAIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition, AIAA SciTech Forum 2022 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Jan 3 2022Jan 7 2022

Publication series

NameAIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition, AIAA SciTech Forum 2022


ConferenceAIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition, AIAA SciTech Forum 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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