Some aspects of streamwise vortex behavior during oblique shock wave/vortex interaction

M. K. Smart, I. M. Kalkhoran, S. Popovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An experimental study of the flowfield generated by the interaction of a streamwise vortex having a strong wake-type axial Mach number profile and a two-dimensional oblique shock wave was conducted in a Mach 2.49 flow. The experiments were aimed at investigating the dynamics of supersonic vortex distortion and to study downstream behavior of a streamwise vortex during a strong shock wave/vortex encounter. The experiments involved positioning an oblique shock generator in the form of a two-dimensional wedge downstream of a semi-span, vortex generator wing section so that the wing-tip vortex interacted with the otherwise planar oblique shock wave. Planar laser sheet visualizations of the flowfield indicated an expansion of the vortex core in crossing a spherically blunt-nose shock front. The maximum vortex core diameter occurred at a distance of 12.7 mm downstream of the wedge leading edge where the vortex had a core diameter of more than double its undisturbed value. At distances further downstream the vortex core diameter remained nearly constant, while it appeared to become more diffused at distances far from the wedge leading edge. Measurements of vortex trajectory revealed that the vortex convected in the freestream direction immediately downstream of the bulged-forward shock structure, while it traveled parallel to the wedge surface at distances further downstream. The turbulent distorted vortex structure which formed as a result of the interaction, was found to be sensitive to downstream disturbances in a manner consistent with incompressible vortex breakdown. Physical arguments are presented to relate behavior of streamwise vortices during oblique and normal shock wave interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-255
Number of pages13
JournalShock Waves
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998


  • Shock wave
  • Shock wave interactions
  • Vortex
  • Vortical interactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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