Advances in Unsteady Boundary Layer Transition Research, Part I: Theory and Modeling
This two-part article presents recent advances in boundary layer research that deal with the unsteady boundary layer transition modeling and its validation. A new unsteady boundary layer transition model was developed based on a universal unsteady intermittency function. It accounts for the effects of periodic unsteady wake flow on the boundary layer transition. To establish the transition model, an inductive approach was implemented; the approach was based on the results of comprehensive experimental and theoretical studies of unsteady wake flow and unsteady boundary layer flow. The experiments were performed on a curved plate at a zero streamwise pressure gradient under a periodic unsteady wake flow, where the frequency of the periodic unsteady flow was varied. To validate the model, systematic experimental investigations were performed on the suction and pressure surfaces of turbine blades integrated into a high-subsonic cascade test facility, which was designed for unsteady boundary layer investigations. The analysis of the experiment's results and comparison with the model's prediction confirm the validity of the model and its ability to predict accurately the unsteady boundary layer transition.