Date of Award

June 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Mark N. Glauser


Jet, Multi-stream, Rectangular, Supersonic, Turbulence

Subject Categories



Supersonic flight has become a standard for military aircraft, and is being seriously reconsidered for commercial applications. Engine technologies, enabling increased mission capabilities and vehicle performance, have evolved nozzles into complex geometries with intricate flow features. These engineering solutions have advanced at a faster rate than the understanding of the flow physics, however. The full consequences of the flow are thus not known, and using predictive tools becomes exceedingly difficult. Additionally, the increasing velocities associated with supersonic flight exacerbate the preexisting jet noise problem, which has troubled the engineering community for nearly 65 years. Even in the simplest flows, the full consequences of turbulence, e.g. noise production, are not fully understood. For composite flows, the fluid mechanics and acoustic properties have been studied even less sufficiently. Before considering the aeroacoustic problem, the development, structure, and evolution of the turbulent flow-field must be considered. This has prompted an investigation into the compressible flow of a complex nozzle.

Experimental evidence is sought to explain the stochastic processes of the turbulent flow issuing from a complex geometry. Before considering the more complicated configuration, an experimental campaign of an axisymmetric jet is conducted. The results from this study are presented, and guide research of the primary flow under investigation. The design of a nozzle representative of future engine technologies is then discussed. Characteristics of this multi-stream rectangular supersonic nozzle are studied via time-resolved schlieren imaging, stereo PIV measurements, dynamic pressure transducers, and far-field acoustics. Experiments are carried out in the anechoic chamber at Syracuse University, and focus primarily on the flow-field. An extensive data set is generated, which reveals a detailed view of a very complex flow. Shear, shock waves, unequal entrainment, compressibility, and geometric features of the nozzle heavily influence the development of this jet plume. In the far-field, the acoustic radiation is found to be highly directional. Noise spectra contain high-frequency tonal signatures, and relations to the turbulent structures are made in an effort to explain the physics responsible for such acoustic generation.

Analysis of the flow is made possible by the carefully planned experiments. By acquiring a large number of simultaneous data points, the stochastic processes are studied through statistical approaches. First- and second-order moments are used to describe the steady-state behavior of the flow. The wide array of sensors used in the tests allows for cross-moments to be computed, which provide evidence linking different phenomena. Proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) is used to separate flow-field quantities into temporal and spatial pieces, which are then further utilized in conjunction with other sensors. Through these methods, a high-frequency instability is discovered in the near-field of the jet, which pervades the flow-field and propagates ubiquitously throughout the acoustic domain. Additionally, the complex shock structure is found to play a vital role in redistributing disturbances throughout the flow. Finally, several POD modes in the side shear layer of the jet are found to be correlated with acoustic production.


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