High-frequency instabilities in supersonic compression-ramp flow

Henry Broadley, Richard Hewitt, Jitesh Gajjar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We consider high Reynolds number supersonic flow over a compression ramp in the triple-deck formulation. Previous studies of compression-ramp stability have shown rapid growth of high-frequency disturbances in initial-value computations; however, no physical or numerical origin has yet been identified robustly. By considering linear perturbations to steady compression-ramp solutions, we show that instabilities observed in previous studies do not have a growth rate that is described by the integral eigenrelation of Tutty & Cowley (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 168, 1986, pp. 431-456) for a (long-wave) Rayleigh instability. We solve both the temporal and spatial instability problems in the limit of asymptotically large wavenumber (or equivalently frequency) and show that the growth rate of the instability remains, being dominated by higher-order terms in the expansion at moderate ramp angles.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA5
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Early online date27 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2023


  • boundary layer stability
  • Compressible flows
  • Supersonic flows


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