, Volume 45, Issue 4, pp 725-743
Date: 23 Sep 2008

Scanning PIV investigation of the laminar separation bubble on a SD7003 airfoil

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A laminar separation bubble occurs on the suction side of the SD7003 airfoil at an angle of attack α =  4–8° and a low Reynolds number less than 100,000, which brings about a significant adverse aerodynamic effect. The spatial and temporal structure of the laminar separation bubble was studied using the scanning PIV method at α =  4° and Re = 60,000 and 20,000. Of particular interest are the dynamic vortex behavior in transition process and the subsequent vortex evolution in the turbulent boundary layer. The flow was continuously sampled in a stack of parallel illuminated planes from two orthogonal views with a frequency of hundreds Hz, and PIV cross-correlation was performed to obtain the 2D velocity field in each plane. Results of both the single-sliced and the volumetric presentations of the laminar separation bubble reveal vortex shedding in transition near the reattachment region at Re = 60,000. In a relatively long distance vortices characterized by paired wall-normal vorticity packets retain their identities in the reattached turbulent boundary layer, though vortices interact through tearing, stretching and tilting. Compared with the restricted LSB at Re = 60,000, the flow at Re = 20,000 presents an earlier separation and a significantly increased reversed flow region followed by “huge” vortical structures.