Direct numerical simulation of mach 6 flow over a cone with a highly swept fin

Anthony L. Knutson, Sidharth Gs, Graham V. Candler

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

27 Scopus citations


A swept fin on a slender cone is a canonical geometry relevant to high speed aeronautics. Predicting growth of instabilities and the onset of transition to turbulence on the swept fin/cone flow requires understanding and characterizing the primary flow features of the undisturbed steady state. The fin/cone geometry is topologically complex and involves challenging grid construction and numerical methodology for an accurate flow simulation. In the present study, we compute low-dissipation steady state flow on a blunt (1 mm nose radius), 7° half angle cone with a fin at a sweep angle of 70° in Mach 6 flow with a unit Reynolds number of 9.68 × 106 m−1. While flow separation is minimal due to the highly swept nature of the fin, two steady state primary vortex systems are found to exist: the horse-shoe vortex system on the cone, and the leading edge vortex system on the fin. Multiple streamwise vortices develop in both vortex systems owing to the presence of strong crossflow, both on the fin and the cone. The primary streamwise vortices originate near the fin leading edge junction and require high grid and numerical resolution for accurate spatial evolution. Presence of strong streamwise and cross-stream gradients and streamwise vorticity make the flow susceptible to complex instability mechanisms. This work serves to inform future investigations of flow breakdown on the fin/cone geometry in the presence of disturbances at Mach 6 freestream conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624105241
StatePublished - 2018
EventAIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, 2018 - Kissimmee, United States
Duration: Jan 8 2018Jan 12 2018

Publication series

NameAIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, 2018


OtherAIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge support of the Office of Naval Research through grant number N00014-16-1-2452. The views and conclusions contained herein are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies or endorsements, either expressed or implied, of the funding agencies or the U.S. Government.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA. All rights reserved.


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