Computation vs. Experiment for High-Frequency Low-Reynolds Number Airfoil Plunge

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We seek to extend the literature on sinusoidal pure-plunge of 2D airfoils at high reduced frequency and low Reynolds number, by including effects of camber and nonzero mean incidence angle. We compare experimental results in a water tunnel using dye injection and 2D particle image velocimetry, with a set of computations in 2D – Immersed Boundary Method and unsteady Reynolds-Averaged Navier Stokes. The Re range is from 10,000 to 60,000, based on free stream velocity and airfoil chord, chosen to cover cases where transition in attached boundary layers would be of some importance, and where transition would only occur in the wake. Generally at high reduced frequency there is no Reynolds number effect. Mean angle of attack has significance, notionally, depending on whether it is below or above static stall. Computations were found to agree well with experimentally-derived velocity contours, vorticity contours and momentum in the wake. As found previously for the NACA0012, varying Strouhal number is found to control the topology of the wake, while varying reduced amplitude and reduced frequency together, but keeping Strouhal number constant, causes wake vortical structures to scale with the reduced amplitude of plunge. Flowfield periodicity – as evinced from comparison of instantaneous and time-averaged particle image velocimetry – is generally attained after two periods of oscillation from motion onset.


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International Journal of Micro Air Vehicles