Large-eddy simulation of a supersonic turbulent boundary layer over a compression-expansion ramp

Muzio Grilli*, Stefan Hickel, Nikolaus A. Adams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Results of a large-eddy simulation (LES) of a supersonic turbulent boundary layer flow along a compression-expansion ramp configuration are presented. The numerical simulation is directly compared with an available experiment at the same flow conditions. The compression-expansion ramp has a deflection angle of β=25°. The flow is characterized by a free-stream Mach number of Ma=2.88 and the Reynolds number based on the incoming boundary layer thickness is Reδ0=132840. The Navier Stokes equations for compressible flows are solved on a cartesian collocated grid. About 32.5×106 grid points are used to discretize the computational domain. Subgrid scale effects are modeled implicitly by the adaptive local deconvolution method (ALDM). A synthetic inflow-turbulence technique is used, which does not introduce any low frequency into the domain, therefore avoiding any possible interference with the shock/boundary layer interaction system. Statistical samples are gathered over 800 characteristic time scales δ0/U. The numerical data are in good agreement with the experiment in terms of mean surface-pressure distribution, skin-friction, mean velocity profiles, velocity and density fluctuations. For the first time the full compression-expansion ramp configuration was taken into account. The computational results confirm theoretical and experimental findings on fluctuation-amplification across the shockwave/boundary layer interaction region and on turbulence damping through the interaction with rarefaction waves. The LES provide evidence of the existence of Görtler-like structures originating from the recirculation region and traveling downstream along the ramp. An analysis of the wall pressure field clearly shows the presence of a low frequency motion of the shock and strong influence of the Görtler-like vortices on the wall pressure spectra.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-93
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Compressible flow
  • LES


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