The absolute instability of thin wakes in an incompressible/compressible fluid

M. Türkyilmazog̃lu, J. S B Gajjar, A. I. Ruban

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The absolute/convective instability of two-dimensional wakes forming behind a flat plate and near the trailing-edge of a thin wedge-shaped aerofoil in an incompressible/compressible fluid is investigated. The mean velocity profiles are obtained by solving numerically the classical compressible boundary-layer equations with a negative pressure gradient for the flat plate case, and the incompressible triple-deck equations for a thin wedge-shaped trailing-edge. In addition for a Joukowski aerofoil the incompressible mean boundary-layer flow in the vicinity of the trailing-edge is also calculated by solving the interactive boundary-layer equations. A linear stability analysis of the boundary-layer profiles shows that a pocket of absolute instability occurs downstream of the trailing-edge with the extent of the instability region increasing with more adverse pressure gradients. The region of absolute instability persists along the near-wake axis, while the majority of the wake is convectively unstable. For a thin wedge-shaped trailing-edge in an incompressible fluid, a similar stability analysis of the velocity profiles obtained via a composite expansion, also shows the occurrence of absolute instability behind the trailing-edge for a wedge angle greater than a critical value. For increasing values of the wedge angle and for thicker aerofoils, separation takes place near the trailing-edge and the extent of absolute instability increases. Calculations also show that for insulated plates compressibility has a stabilizing effect but cooling the wall destabilizes the flow unlike wall heating.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)91-114
    Number of pages23
    JournalTheoretical and Computational Fluid Dynamics
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1999


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