Date of Award

Spring 1991

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

Committee Director

Osama A. Kandil

Committee Member

Chen-Huei Liu

Committee Member

Robert L. Ash

Committee Member

Arthur C. Taylor, III


Steady and unsteady vortex-dominated flows around slender bodies at high angles of attack are solved using the unsteady, compressible Navier-Stokes equations. An implicit upwind, finite-volume scheme is used for the numerical computations.

For supersonic flows past pointed bodies, the locally-conical flow assumption has been used. Asymmetric flows past five-degree semiapex cones using the thin-layer Navier-Stokes equations at different angles of attack, freestream Mach numbers, Reynolds numbers, grid fineness, computational domain size, sources of disturbances and cross-section shapes have been studied. The onset of flow asymmetry occurs when the relative incidence of pointed forebodies exceeds certain critical values. At these critical values of relative incidence, asymmetric flow develops irrespective of the sources of disturbances. The results of unsteady asymmetric flows show that periodic vortex shedding exists at larger angles of attack and it is independent of the numerical schemes used.

Passive control of steady and unsteady asymmetric vortical flows around cones using vertical fins and side-strakes have also been studied. Side-strikes control of flow asymmetry over a wide range of angles of attack requires shorter strake heights than those of the vertical-fin control and produces higher lift for the same cone.

Three-dimensional, incompressible flows past a prolate spheroid and a tangent-ogive cylinder are solved and compared with experimental data for validation of the numerical scheme. Three-dimensional supersonic asymmetric flows around a five degree semiapex angle circular cone at different angles of attack and Reynolds numbers are presented. Flow asymmetry has been obtained using short-duration disturbances. The flow asymmetry becomes stronger as the Reynolds number and angle of attack are increased. The asymmetric solutions show spatial vortex shedding which is qualitatively similar to the temporal vortex shedding of the unsteady locally-conical flow.