Jet/Wall Interaction: An Experimental Study with Applications to VSTOL Aircraft Ground Effects
The flow field of a twin jet impinging on ground plane with and without free-stream and at low jet-height-to-diameter ratios was investigated using the Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) technique. Detailed, time-averaged flow field data are obtained via the high-resolution and the high-sampling rate instantaneous velocity field that is made available via the PIV technique.
A model of twin jet issuing from 0.245m circular plate, with 0.019m jet exit diameter, and with jet span to diameter ratio of 3.0 is placed in a water tunnel with the jets in tandem arrangement with respect to the free-stream. The recently upgraded PIV system, in the ESM department fluid mechanics laboratory at VA-Tech, allowed us to capture instantaneous velocity field images of about 0.076m x 0.076m, at 512(H)x512(V) frame resolution. Sampling rates of 1000 and 1200 fps were employed.
Understanding the flow field at lower heights is of crucial significance to the VSTOL aircraft application. Huge jet thrust is required to initiate the take-off operation due to the high lift loss encountered while the airframe is in proximity to the ground. Therefore, jet-height-to-diameter ratios of 2 and 4 were employed in this study. Jet-to-free-stream velocity ratios of 0.12, 0.18 and 0.22 were employed in addition to the no-free-stream case.
In the current study, only time-averaged flow field properties were considered. These properties were extracted from the available instantaneous velocity field data. In order to provide some details in the time-averaged velocity field, the data were obtained along several planes of interrogation underneath the test model in the vicinity of the twin jet impinging flow. Images were captured in a single plane normal to the free-stream and five planes parallel to the free-stream.
A vortex-like flow appears between the main jet and the fountain upwash. This flow is found to experience spiral motion. The direction of such flow spirals is found to be dependent on the jet exit height above the ground, and on the jet-to-free stream, velocity ratios. The flow spirals out towards the vortex flow periphery and upon increasing the free-stream it reverses its direction to be inward spiraling towards the core of the vortex. The flow reversal at certain height of the jet above the ground depends on the free-stream velocity.
In our discussion, more emphasis is given to the case of jet-height-to-diameter ratio of two. We also found that the largest turbulent kinetic energy production rate is found to be at the fountain upwash formation zone.