A systematic investigation of ventilated supercavitation behaviors in an unsteady flow is conducted using a high-speed water tunnel at the Saint Anthony Falls Laboratory. The cavity is generated with a forward facing model under varying ventilation rates and cavitator sizes. The unsteady flow is produced by a gust generator consisting of two hydrofoils flapping in unison with a varying angle of attack (AoA) and frequency (fg). The current experiment reveals five distinct cavity states, namely, the stable state, wavy state, pulsating state I, pulsating state II, and collapsing state, based on the variation of cavity geometry and pressure signatures inside the cavity. The distribution of cavity states over a broad range of unsteady conditions is summarized in a cavity state map. It shows that the transition of the supercavity from the stable state to pulsating and collapsing states is primarily induced by increasing AoA while the transition to the wavy state triggers largely by increasing fg. Remarkably, the state map over the non-dimensionalized half wavelength and wave amplitude of the perturbation indicates that the supercavity loses its stability and transitions to pulsating or collapsing states when the level of its distortion induced by the flow unsteadiness exceeds the cavity dimension under a steady condition. The state maps under different ventilation rates and cavitator sizes yield similar distribution but show that the occurrence of the cavity collapse can be suppressed with increasing ventilation coefficient or cavitator size. Such knowledge can be integrated into designing control strategies for the supercavitating devices operating under different unsteady conditions.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work is supported by the Office of Naval Research (Program Manager, Dr. Thomas Fu) under Grant No. N000141612755 and the start-up funding received by Professor Jiarong Hong from the University of Minnesota.