A supersonic turbulent boundary layer in an adverse pressure gradient

Emerick M. Fernando, Alexander J. Smits

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64 Scopus citations


This investigation describes the effects of an adverse pressure gradient on a flat plate supersonic turbulent boundary layer (Mref≈2.9, βmax≈5.8, Reθref≈75600). Single normal hot wires and crossed wires were used to study the Reynolds stress behaviour, and the features of the large-scale structures in the boundary layer were investigated by measuring space-time correlations in the normal and spanwise directions. Both the mean flow and the turbulence were strongly affected by the pressure gradient. However, the turbulent stress ratios showed much less variation than the stresses, and the essential nature of the large-scale structures was unaffected by the pressure gradient. The wall pressure distribution in the current experiment was designed to match the pressure distribution on a previously studied curved-wall model where streamline curvature acted in combination with bulk compression. The addition of streamline curvature affects the turbulence strongly, although its influence on the mean velocity field is less pronounced and the modifications to the skin-friction distribution seem to follow the empirical correlations developed by Bradshaw (1974) reasonably well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-307
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Issue number285
StatePublished - Feb 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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