Investigation of Görtler vortices in high-speed boundary layers via an efficient numerical solution to the non-linear boundary region equations

Omar Es-Sahli, Adrian Sescu, Mohammed Afsar, Yuji Hattori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Streamwise vortices and the associated streaks evolve in boundary layers over flat or concave surfaces due to disturbances initiated upstream or triggered by the wall surface. Following the transient growth phase, the fully developed vortex structures become susceptible to inviscid secondary instabilities resulting in early transition to turbulence via ‘bursting’ processes. In high-speed boundary layers, more complications arise due to compressibility and thermal effects, which become more significant for higher Mach numbers. In this paper, we study Görtler vortices developing in high-speed boundary layers using the boundary region equations (BRE) formalism, which we solve using an efficient numerical algorithm. Streaks are excited using a small transpiration velocity at the wall. Our BRE-based algorithm is found to be superior to direct numerical simulation (DNS) and ad hoc nonlinear parabolized stability equation (PSE) models. BRE solutions are less computationally costly than a full DNS and have a more rigorous theoretical foundation than PSE-based models. For example, the full development of a Görtler vortex system in high-speed boundary layers can be predicted in a matter of minutes using a single processor via the BRE approach. This substantial reduction in calculation time is one of the major achievements of this work. We show, among other things, that it allows investigation into feedback control in reasonable total computational times. We investigate the development of the Görtler vortex system via the BRE solution with feedback control parametrically at various freestream Mach numbers M and spanwise separations λ of the inflow disturbances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-249
Number of pages13
JournalTheoretical and Computational Fluid Dynamics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Apr


  • Boundary region equations
  • Compressible flow
  • Gortler vortices
  • High-speed boundary layer


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