Computational investigations of a NACA 0012 airfoil in low Reynolds number flows
Nowak, Lisa M.
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A steady flow analysis is conducted for a NACA 0012 airfoil in low Reynolds number flows ranging from 540,000 to 1,000,000. Emphasis is placed on prediction and location of the separation bubble. Computational methods include the direct boundary layer method, the viscous-inviscid interaction method, and the time-averaged Navier-Stokes method. Characteristic trends in skin friction coefficient, displacement thickness, and boundary layer velocity profiles with increasing angle of attack are observed. Computational results are compared to each other and to experimental photographs visualizing the density flowfield using Point Diffraction Interferometry. Both the viscous-inviscid method and the Navier-Stokes method failed to accurately represent leading edge separation bubbles. The direct boundary layer method, usually considered of very limited usefulness due to a singularity in the underlying equations at separation, is shown to exhibit unexpected recovery behavior for small amounts of separation. Furthermore, the results near the leading edge, where separation bubbles were computed, were validated by the experiment. Separation bubble.
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