On the absence of asymmetric wakes for periodically plunging finite wings

Dario Calderon Robayo, D J Cleaver, I Gursul, Z Wang

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It has previously been shown that, at high Strouhal numbers, oscillating airfoils can produce deflected jets that can create very high lift-coefficients for otherwise symmetric scenarios. These deflected jets form through pairing of the trailing-edge vortices to create asymmetric vortex couples that self-propel at an angle to the freestream, resulting in an asymmetric flow field and non-zero lift. In this paper results are presented that indicate these high-lift deflected jets cannot form for finite wings. Instead of the straight vortex tubes that pair and convect at an angle to the freestream observed for effectively infinite wings, finite wings exhibit vortex tubes that break into two branches near the tip forming double helix structures. One branch connects with the last vortex; one branch connects with the next vortex. This creates a long “daisy chain” of interconnected trailing edge vortices forming a long series of vortex loops. These symmetric flow fields are shown to persist for finite wings even to Strouhal numbers more than twice those required to produce asymmetric wakes on plunging airfoils. Two contributing reasons are discussed for why deflected jets are not observed. First the tip vortex creates three-dimensionality that discourages vortex coupling. Second, the symmetry of the circulation of the interconnected vortex loops, which has been confirmed by the experiments, is a natural consequence of the vortex topology. Therefore, the asymmetry in trailing edge vortex strength previously observed as characteristic of deflected jets cannot be supported for finite wings.
Original languageEnglish
Article number071907
Pages (from-to)1 - 15
Number of pages15
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number7
Early online date31 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2014


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