Vortex distortion during vortex-surface interaction in a mach 3 stream

Iraj M. Kalkhoran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An experimental study has been conducted in a Mach 3 wind tunnel to investigate the behavior of supersonic vortices as they interact with a wedge surface placed in their passage. The experimental setup was arranged so that interactions resulted in a close encounter of the vortex core and the wedge leading edge. Spark shadow photographs of the flowfield along with pressure measurements on the wedge surface were used to study the interaction problem. In their most organized form, distortion of streamwise vortices upon interacting with the wedge was found to result in formation of symmetric detached shock fronts far upstream of the wedge leading edge followed by an apparent slip surface separating a subsonic region from a supersonic zone. Interaction experiments leading to substantial changes in the structure of vortices revealed that the supersonic vortex distortion has strong resemblances to the incompressible “B-breakdown” reported in the literature. Experimental results also indicate that the interaction strongly depends on the vortex strength and vortex proximity to the wedge leading edge, and the generated flowfield was found to be highly unsteady. Interaction of concentrated streamwise vortices with the oblique shock formed over the wedge surface resulted in formation of a locally three-dimensional shock wave with a limited subsonic region downstream of the shock.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-129
Number of pages7
JournalAIAA journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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