Date of Award

Summer 1998

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering


Aerospace Engineering

Committee Director

Osama A. Kandil

Committee Member

Oktay Baysal

Committee Member

Colin P. Britcher

Committee Member

George C. Greene

Committee Member

Tin-Chee Wong


Computational modeling and studies of the near-field wake-vortex turbulent flows, far-field turbulent wake-vortex/exhaust-plume interaction for subsonic and High Speed Civil Transport (HSCT) airplane, and wake-vortex/exhaust-plume interaction with the ground are carried out. The three-dimensional, compressible Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations are solved using the implicit, upwind, Roe-flux-differencing, finite-volume scheme. The turbulence models of Baldwin and Lomax, one-equation model of Spalart and Allmaras and two-equation shear stress transport model of Menter are implemented with the RANS solver for turbulent-flow modeling.

For the near-field study, computations are carried out on a fine grid for a rectangular wing with a NACA-0012 airfoil section and a rounded tip. The focus of study is the tip-vortex development, the near-wake-vortex roll-up, and validation of the results with the available experimental data.

For the far-field study, the computations of wake-vortex interaction with the exhaust-plume of a single engine of a medium-size subsonic aircraft in a holding condition and two engines of a HSCT in a cruise condition are carried out using an overlapping zonal method for several miles downstream. The overlapping zonal method has been carefully developed and investigated for accurate and efficient calculations of the far-field wake-vortex flow. The results of the subsonic flow are compared with those of a Parabolized Navier-Stokes (PNS) solver known as the UNIWAKE code.

Next, the problem of wake-vortex/ground interaction is investigated. For the simulation of this problem, typical velocity profiles of a tip vortex with and without the exhaust-plume temperature profiles are used for inflow boundary conditions and the computations are carried out using the overlapping zonal method for long distances downstream. The effects of the exhaust-plume temperature on the vortex descent, ground boundary-layer separation, vortex rebound and vortex decay are studied and validated with the available experimental data. A parametric study, which covers the effects of atmospheric conditions such as axial wind, crosswind, wind shear, turbulence and, Reynolds number on vortex motion and dynamics near the ground, is also carried out.