Active Control of Instabilities in Laminar Boundary Layers—Overview and Concept Validation

[+] Author and Article Information
R. D. Joslin

LFC Project Team, Fluid Mechanics and Acoustics Division, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA 23681-0001

G. Erlebacher

Institute for Computer Applications in Science and Engineering

M. Y. Hussaini

Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-4052

J. Fluids Eng 118(3), 494-497 (Sep 01, 1996) (4 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2817785 History: Received October 17, 1994; Revised June 04, 1996; Online December 04, 2007


This paper (the first in a series) focuses on using active-control methods to maintain laminar flow in a region of the flow in which the natural instabilities, if left unattended, lead to turbulent flow. The authors review previous studies that examine wave cancellation (currently the most prominent method) and solve the unsteady, nonlinear Navier-Stokes equations to evaluate this method of controlling instabilities. It is definitively shown that instabilities are controlled by the linear summation of waves (i.e., wave cancellation). Although a mathematically complete method for controlling arbitrary instabilities has been developed, the review, duplication, and physical explanation of previous studies are important steps for providing an independent verification of those studies, for establishing a framework for the work which will involve automated transition control, and for detailing the phenomena by-which the automated studies can be used to expand knowledge of flow control.

Copyright © 1996 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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