Linear stability of Poiseuille flow over a steady spanwise Stokes layer

The temporal linear stability of plane Poiseuille flow modified by spanwise forcing applied at the walls is considered. The forcing consists of a stationary streamwise distribution of spanwise velocity that generates a steady transversal Stokes layer, known to reduce skin-friction drag in a turbulent flow with little energetic cost. A large numerical study is carried out, where the effects of both the physical and the discretization parameters are thoroughly explored, for three representative subcritical values of the Reynolds number Re. Results show that the spanwise Stokes layer significantly affects the linear stability of the system. For example, at Re=2000 the wall forcing is found to more than double the negative real part of the least-stable eigenvalue, and to decrease by nearly a factor of four the maximum transient growth of perturbation energy. These observations are Re-dependent and further improve at higher Re. Comments on the physical implications of the obtained results are provided, suggesting that spanwise forcing might be effective to obtain at the same time a delayed transition to turbulence and a reduced turbulent friction.

Preliminary results of this research were presented [44] at the XIII EUROMECH Turbulence Conference in Warsaw. Dr. Carlo Sovardi is thanked for his support work during his Master thesis.



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