Zonal RANS/LES coupling simulation of a transitional and separated flow around an airfoil near stall

Research paper by F. Richez, I. Mary, V. Gleize, C. Basdevant

Indexed on: 01 Nov '07Published on: 01 Nov '07Published in: Theoretical and Computational Fluid Dynamics


The objective of the current study is to examine the course of events leading to stall just before its occurrence. The stall mechanisms are very sensitive to the transition that the boundary layer undergoes near the leading edge of the profile by a so-called laminar separation bubble (LSB). In order to provide helpful insights into this complex flow, a zonal Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS)/large-eddy simulation (LES) simulation of the flow around an airfoil near stall has been achieved and its results are presented and analyzed in this paper. LSB has already been numerically studied by direct numerical simulation (DNS) or LES, but for a flat plate with an adverse pressure gradient only. We intend, in this paper, to achieve a detailed analysis of the transition process by a LSB in more realistic conditions. The comparison with a linear instability analysis has shown that the numerical instability mechanism in the LSB provides the expected frequency of the perturbations. Furthermore, the right order of magnitude for the turbulence intensities at the reattachment point is found.