The Turbulence Structure of Heated Supersonic Jets with Offset Total Temperature Non-Uniformities

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Virginia Tech

Noise induced hearing loss is a large concern for the Department of Defense. Personnel on aircraft carriers are exposed to dangerous noise levels of noise from tactical aircraft, causing hearing damage which results in significant costs for medical care and treatment. Additionally, NASA and the FAA have begun to investigate the viability of reintroducing supersonic commercial transport in the United States and one of the largest problems to address is reducing the noise impact of these aircraft on communities.

The overarching goal of jet noise research is to optimize noise reduction techniques for supersonic jets. In order to achieve this, a more complete theoretical framework which links the jet boundary conditions to the turbulence production in the jet plume and the far-field radiated noise must be established. The research presented herein was conducted on the hypothesis that introducing thermal non-uniformities into a heated supersonic jet flow can favorably alter the turbulence structure in the jet shear layer, leading to reductions in radiated noise.

To investigate the impact of temperature on the turbulence development in the jet, spatially resolved three-component velocity vectors were acquired using particle image velocimetry (PIV) performed on two small-scale perfectly expanded Mach 1.5 jet flows, one with a uniform temperature profile and another containing a geometrically offset temperature non-uniformity.

Using the PIV data, the mean velocities, Reynolds stresses, and correlation coefficients were obtained from both jet flows and compared to analyze changes in the mean turbulence field. Small but significant reductions in the shear layer turbulence were observed in the near nozzle region of the thermally offset jet when compared to the uniform jet case. The changes result in a thickening of the shear layer nearest the location of the cold plume which alters the integral length scales of the coherent turbulent structures in the offset jet in a manner consistent with other techniques presented in the literature that reduce jet noise.

Applying quadrant analysis, a conditional averaging technique, to the jet turbulence plume revealed changes in the statistical flow field of Reynolds shear stress structures. The changes provide strong evidence of the presence of intermittent stream-wise vortical structures which serve to reduce the spatial correlation levels of turbulence in the thermally offset jet flow when compared to the uniform baseline jet.

fluid dynamics, supersonic jets, particle image velocimetry, compressible shear layers, jet noise, Turbulence