High-speed unsteady flows around concave axisymmetric bodies: flow instabilities and their suppression

A. Panaras, D. Drikakis

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The axisymmetric concave body, i.e. a body in which the normals to its surface intersect, is a typical configuration about which shock/shock interactions appear. Various shapes of axisymmetric concave bodies are used in a variety of applications in aeronautics. For exampe: axisymmetric jet inlets with conical centerbody, ballistic missiles drag reduction by spike, plasma or hot gas injection, parachutes for pilot-ejection capsules. However, it is well known that two distinct modes of instability appear around a concave body in the high-speed flow regime, for a certain range of geometric parameters. These instabilities can cause undesirable effects such as severe vibration of the structure, heating and pressure loads. According to the experimental evidence, the unsteady flow is characterized by periodic radial inflation and collapse of the conical separation bubble formed around the forebody (pulsation). Various explanations have been given for the driving mechanism of the instabilities. They are based on interpretation of experimental results or on numerical simulation of the related flows. A merging of the leading explanations is done, and basic rules for the passive suppression of the instabilities are applied, in order to enforce the proposed driving mechanism of the instabilities. Most of the analysis is based on numerical simulations.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Event6th European Symposium Aerothermodynamics for Space Vehicles, 2008 - Versailles, France
Duration: 3 Nov 20086 Nov 2008


Conference6th European Symposium Aerothermodynamics for Space Vehicles, 2008


  • aerodynamics
  • axisymmetric bodies
  • ballistics
  • computer simulation
  • fluid dynamics
  • unsteady flow
  • axisymmetric jet

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