Transient growth in the flow past a three-dimensional smooth roughness element
Article dans une revue avec comité de lecture
This work provides a global optimization analysis, looking for perturbations inducing the largest energy growth at a finite time in a boundary-layer flow in the presence of smooth three-dimensional roughness elements. Amplification mechanisms are described which can bypass the asymptotical growth of Tollmien–Schlichting waves. Smooth axisymmetric roughness elements of different height have been studied, at different Reynolds numbers. The results show that even very small roughness elements, inducing only a weak deformation of the base flow, can localize the optimal disturbance characterizing the Blasius boundary-layer flow. Moreover, for large enough bump heights and Reynolds numbers, a strong amplification mechanism has been recovered, inducing an increase of several orders of magnitude of the energy gain with respect to the Blasius case. In particular, the highest value of the energy gain is obtained for an initial varicose perturbation, differently to what found for a streaky parallel flow. Optimal varicose perturbations grow very rapidly by transporting the strong wall-normal shear of the base flow, which is localized in the wake of the bump. Such optimal disturbances are found to lead to transition for initial energies and amplitudes considerably smaller than sinuous optimal ones, inducing hairpin vortices downstream of the roughness element.
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