Volumetric measurements and simulations of the vortex structures generated by low aspect ratio plunging wings

D. E. Calderon, Z. Wang, I. Gursul, M. R. Visbal

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Volumetric three-component velocimetry measurements have been performed on low aspect ratio wings undergoing a small amplitude pure plunging motion. This study focuses on the vortex flows generated by rectangular and elliptical wings set to a fixed geometric angle of attack of α = 20°. An investigation into the effect of Strouhal number illustrates the highly three-dimensional nature of the leading edge vortex as well as its inherent ability to improve lift performance. Computational simulations show good agreement with experimental results, both demonstrating the complex interaction between leading, trailing, and tip vortices generated in each cycle. The leading edge vortex, in particular, may deform significantly throughout the cycle, in some cases developing strong spanwise undulations. These are at least both Strouhal number and planform dependent. One or two arch-type vortical structures may develop, depending on the aspect ratio and Strouhal number. At sufficiently high Strouhal numbers, a tip vortex ring may also develop, propelling itself away from the wing in the spanwise direction due to self-induced velocity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number067102
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event50th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting Including The New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition - Nashville, USA United States
Duration: 9 Jan 201212 Jan 2012


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