Implicit Large Eddy Simulation of transition to turbulence at low Reynolds numbers using a Discontinuous Galerkin method



The present work predicts the formation of laminar separation bubbles at low Reynolds numbers and the related transition to turbulence by means of Implicit Large Eddy Simulations with a high-order Discontinuous Galerkin method. The flow around an SD7003 infinite wing at an angle of attack of 4° is considered at Reynolds numbers of 10 000, 22 000, and 60 000 in order to gain insight into the characteristics of the laminar and turbulent regimes. At the lowest Reynolds number studied, the flow remains laminar and two dimensional over the wing surface, with a periodic vortex shedding. For higher Reynolds numbers, the flow is unsteady over the upper wing surface and exhibits a separation bubble along which the flow transitions to turbulence. Tollmien–Schlichting (TS) waves are observed in the boundary layer, and transition is found to be caused by unstable TS modes as revealed by the growth of the stream-wise amplification factor. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.