Simplified linear stability transition prediction method for separated boundary layers

Paolo Dini, Michael S. Seligt, Mark D. Maughmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


An existing transition prediction method for attached, two-dimensional, incompressible boundary layers based on linear stability analysis is extended to separated, two-dimensional, incompressible boundary layers such as those found in laminar (transitional) separation bubbles. It is shown why the present method, which tracks the growth of disturbances at many different frequencies, is more accurate than the so-called envelope methods for nonsimilar boundary-layer developments. Reliance on a database of precalculated stability characteristics of known velocity profiles makes this method much faster than traditional stability calculations of similar accuracy. The Falkner-Skan self-similar profiles are used for attached flow, and a new, very general family of profiles is used for separated flow. Comparisons with measured transition locations inside the bubble show good agreement over the range of chord Reynolds numbers and airfoil angles of attack of interest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1953-1961
Number of pages9
JournalAIAA journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering


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