Preventing transition to turbulence using streamwise traveling waves: Direct numerical simulations

Binh K. Lieu, Rashad Moarref, Mihailo R. Jovanović

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

1 Scopus citations


We use direct numerical simulations of the nonlinear Navier-Stokes (NS) equations to examine the effectiveness of streamwise traveling waves for controlling the onset of turbulence in a channel flow. We highlight the effect of a base flow induced by the streamwise traveling waves on the dynamics of velocity fluctuations and on the net efficiency of control. It is shown that properly designed downstream traveling waves are capable of reducing the fluctuations' kinetic energy and maintaining the laminar flow. In contrast, our results demonstrate that upstream traveling waves promote turbulence even when the uncontrolled flow stays laminar. Our numerical simulations elucidate the predictive power of the theoretical framework developed in a companion paper [1] and suggest that the linearized NS equations with uncertainty serve as an effective control-oriented model for preventing transition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2010 American Control Conference, ACC 2010
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Oct 15 2010
Event2010 American Control Conference, ACC 2010 - Baltimore, MD, United States
Duration: Jun 30 2010Jul 2 2010


Other2010 American Control Conference, ACC 2010
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBaltimore, MD


  • Direct numerical simulations
  • Energy amplification
  • Flow control
  • Navier- stokes equations
  • Skin-friction drag coefficient
  • Transition to turbulence


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