Aero-thermal decomposition of hypersonic boundary layer over blunt cone

Mary L. Houston, David A. Cook, Joseph W. Nichols

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Linear Stability Theory (LST) and the Parabolized Stability Equations (PSE) have provided valuable tools for analysis and prediction of laminar to turbulent transition for plates, sharp cones, and geometries for which parallel-flow or a slowly-varying boundary layer can be assumed. However, these techniques struggle to capture the complex flow-physics present near the tip of blunt cones. Input-output analysis has been used in conjunction with direct numerical simulation to capture the effects of nose bluntness on downstream stability. Using the results of the input-output analysis we apply momentum potential theory (MPT) to preform fluid-thermodynamic (FT) decomposition, separating disturbances into their vortical, thermal and acoustic components. A reference case of Mach 6 flow over a flat plate is computed and output responses are compared to the results for Mach 6 flow over a blunt cone of 7o half angle. Perturbation eigenfunctions and structures are examined in the areas of second-mode amplification. For both the flat plate and blunt cone the vortical components are the largest, followed by the thermal then acoustic components. Fluid-thermodynamic structures in the second-mode amplification region of blunt cone show wall-normal stretching above the critical layer. Finally, FT decomposition of full-domain input and output results for the blunt cone geometry are considered. It is found that input sensitivity is highest at the top of the entropy layer and along the boundary layer edge for the fore-half of the cone. Output response in the streamwise direction is highest in the regions between the generalized inflection point (GIP) and the boundary layer edge and dissipates near the surface, whereas wall-normal response extends to the surface and shows a local minimum between the GIP and boundary layer edge. To compliment existing studies on hypersonic boundary layer response to surface roughness/ vibration we look at input sensitivity and output response at the surface. It is found that there is greater sensitivity to wall-normal than streamwise forcing at the surface and among the three FT components in this direction the vortical had the highest relative output amplitude.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA AVIATION 2020 FORUM
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624105982
StatePublished - 2020
EventAIAA AVIATION 2020 FORUM - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jun 15 2020Jun 19 2020

Publication series

Volume1 PartF


CityVirtual, Online

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Office of Naval Research (ONR) grant no. N00014-17-1-2496. The authors give special thanks to John Thome for generating the geometry and base flow used in the present analysis.


Dive into the research topics of 'Aero-thermal decomposition of hypersonic boundary layer over blunt cone'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this