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Manipulation of Three-Dimensional Turbulent Wakes for Aerodynamic Drag Reduction

Abstract : Combination of passive and active flow control are used to experimentally reduce the aerodynamic drag produced by the turbulent wake past a simplified vehicle geometry with a blunt base. Such wakes are characterized by two main features: important pressure drag linked to the massive flow separation, and large-scale asymmetries. The latter,manifesting as bi-modal dynamics or permanent symmetry-breaking, are shown to contribute for around 10% of the pressure drag. The study of the transient wake reversais occurring in bi-modal dynamics though symmetric states enables to isolate the flow mechanism responsible for increased drag in symmetry-breaking states. An interaction and coupling between the recirculating flow from one side and the shear-layer from opposite side peculiar to symmetry-breaking states triggers shear-layer instabilities and their amplification leading to increased flow entrainment and drag.This mechanism is shown to be characteristic of the wakes of blunt bodies.An active flow control strategy combining tangential pulsed jets along the trailing-edges and small flush-mounted curved surfaces is used to reduce the pressure drag of the geometry. The flow reattachment and separation on thecurved surfaces results in a fluidic boat-tailing of the wake leading to drag reductions up to 12%, independently of the unforced large-scale asymmetry of the wake, and is noticeably influenced by the time-scale of unsteadiness of the forcing. Careful combination between forcing time-scale and size of the curved surfaces is needed to achieve ail thepotential of this unsteady Coanda effect in drag reduction as shown from a simple flow model providing scaling laws of the phenomenon. The model provided allows for an extension of the flow control mechanism to separated flows moregenerally. Furthermore, forcing along only selected edges enables to interact with the large-scale wake asymmetries and has very different impact on the drag depending on the unforced wake equilibrium. Symmetrisation of the wake through asymmetric forcing leads to 7% drag reduction at a reduced energetic cost. Key ingredients are provided to adapt forcing strategies for drag reduction in presence of various wake asymmetries. As global wake equilibrium changes result from minor geometric and flow conditions changes, adaptive and robust flow control strategies are essential for industrial automotive applications.
Keywords : Bluff bodies
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Yann Haffner. Manipulation of Three-Dimensional Turbulent Wakes for Aerodynamic Drag Reduction. Other. ISAE-ENSMA Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Mécanique et d'Aérotechique - Poitiers, 2020. English. ⟨NNT : 2020ESMA0006⟩. ⟨tel-02933400⟩

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