Numerical investigation of the unsteady behavior of supersonic plane wakes

P. J. Harris, H. F. Fasel

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The flow in the wake region of a two-dimensional body has been studied using direct numerical simulations. The nature of instabilities in the wake and its bounding shear layers is addressed for a Mach number of M = 2.46, and the structures that arise from these instabilities are observed. A code was developed to solve the compressible Navier- Stokes equations in two or three dimensions. A spatial model is used, with the computational domain arranged around the trailing edge of a two-dimensional flat plate with a blunt base. Starting at Reynolds numbers of about Re = 30,000, the flow becomes two-dimensionally unstable with respect to sinuous disturbances, resulting in the periodic formation of vorticity structures. Starting at about Re = 100,000, an intermittent shear layer instability was also found, excited by sinuous disturbances. The two instability modes interact to produce a “chaotic” behavior. Above Re = 200,000, the shear layer instability appears without the presence of the sinuous disturbances, forming rows of vortices in the shear layers. Preliminary three-dimensional simulations were carried out, examining the variation in the growth rate of three-dimensional disturbances with spanwise wavelength.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages11
StatePublished - 1998
Event29th AIAA Fluid Dynamics Conference - Albuquerque, United States
Duration: Jun 15 1998Jun 18 1998


Other29th AIAA Fluid Dynamics Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Aerospace Engineering


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