Vortex coupling in trailing vortex-wing interactions

Chen Chen, Zhijin Wang, Ismet Gursul

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The interaction of trailing vortices of an upstream wing with rigid and flexible downstream wings has been investigated experimentally in a wind tunnel, using particle image velocimetry, hot-wire, force and deformation measurements. Counter-rotating upstream vortices exhibit increased meandering when they are close to the tip of the downstream wing. The upstream vortex forms a pair with the vortex shed from the downstream wing, and then exhibits large displacements around the wing-tip. This coupled motion of the pair has been found to cause large lift fluctuations on the downstream wing. The meandering of the vortex pair occurs at the natural meandering frequency of the isolated vortex, with a low Strouhal number, and is not affected by the frequency of the large-amplitude wing oscillations if the downstream wing is flexible. The displacement of the leading vortex is larger than that of the trailing vortex, however it causes highly correlated variations of the core radius, core vorticity and circulation of the trailing vortex with the coupled meandering motion. In contrast, co-rotating vortices do not exhibit any increased meandering.
Original languageEnglish
Article number034704
JournalPhysical Review Fluids
Issue number3
Early online date28 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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