The Prediction of Unsteady Aerodynamic Loading in High Aspect Ratio Wall Bounded Jets

Open Access
Lurie, Michael Brian
Graduate Program:
Aerospace Engineering
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
April 27, 2015
Committee Members:
  • Philip John Morris, Dissertation Advisor
  • Dennis K Mclaughlin, Committee Member
  • Cengiz Camci, Committee Member
  • Stephen A Hambric, Special Member
  • Aerospace
  • Vibrations
  • CFD
  • Computational
  • Acoustics
  • Experiment
  • Turbulence
  • Free Jet
  • Wall Jet
  • Nozzle
Stealth aircraft are becoming more and more prevalent in the aircraft industry. One of the features of many stealth aircraft is an integrated engine that is mounted above the aircraft fuselage. The engine nozzle is often rectangular with a high aspect ratio, and exhausts onto a jet deck formed by the aircraft fuselage. This configuration allows the aircraft fuselage to shield the noise and other detectable features caused by the engine from the ground. The Northrop Grumman B2 Bomber is perhaps the most well-known example of this configuration. Additionally, stealth technology combined with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV's) has led to the Joint Unmanned Combat System project, or J-UCAS. Both of the aircraft in development in this project use a wall-bounded high aspect ratio nozzle for stealth purposes. While these engine configurations provide a low radar profile and reduce the noise levels on the ground, they do introduce additional considerations. Since the engine is mounted above the aircraft, the nozzle jet is wall bounded by the fuselage of the aircraft. This is known as the flight deck. The jet stream exiting the nozzle can travel at supersonic speeds and potentially generates shock or expansion waves that impinge on the surface of the deck. The oscillations of these shockwaves on the deck produce localized unsteady forces acting on the aircraft. In addition, the interaction between the high speed jet stream and the slower ambient air causes a shear layer to form from the trailing edge of the nozzle. Turbulent eddies form and increase in size as they move downstream. The interactions of the shear layer with the flight deck produce additional unsteady forces on the aircraft. This thesis presents a study to predict the forces on a flight deck caused by a high aspect ratio wall bounded nozzle using both experimental methods and numerical simulations. The experiments performed were conducted on two different nozzles with aspect ratios of 4-1 and 8-1. Several different run conditions, including subsonic, over-expanded, on-design, and under-expanded, are included to study the effects of Mach number on the unsteady pressure. An aluminum flat plate is used to represent the aft deck. The plate is instrumented with Endevco pressure transducers to capture the fluctuating pressure on the aft deck. A spectral analysis performed on the individual sensors shows that the primary sources of fluctuating pressure are the shear layer along with shock-boundary layer interaction. Additional scaling with the nozzle heights is also presented. The numerical simulations were performed using a fully viscous, hybrid RANS/LES model. They matched the nozzle characteristics and run conditions performed in the experiment. A detailed comparison between the unsteady pressures predicted by the computational simulations and those measured by the experiment is presented. Several discrepancies between the experimental and numerical results are the result of numerical error caused by the time marching scheme used in the simulations. A proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) method is introduced to further analyze the computational simulations and provide a filtering method to obtain more accurate results.