MACH 2.5 TURBULENT BOUNDARY LAYER
M. W. Smith* and Alexander J. Smits
In this image, Rayleigh scattering is used to visualize a streamwise cross-section of the density field
of a turbulent flat plate boundary layer at Mach 2.5 in a plane parallel to the wall at y/delta = 0.72. The Reynolds number based on
momentum thickness is about 25,000. The flow is from left to right. The Rayleigh scattering is enhanced by the presence of
nano-scale water droplets that form in the nozzle as the flow expands to the freestream Mach number. The image has been
false-colored to emphasize the diffuse edges of the low-density bulges (the "clouds") and the high-density of the edge fluid (the
blue "sky"). A side view is also available.
Smith, M. W. and Smits, A. J., Visualization of the Structure of Supersonic Turbulent Boundary Layers. Experiments in
Fluids 18, 288-302, 1995.
*NASA Langley Research Center