The effect of modulated driving on turbulent plane Couette flows

  • Ostilla-Mónico, Rodolfo (University of Cádiz)
  • Akhtar, Wasy (University of Houston)

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Direct numerical simulations of turbulent non-rotating and rotating plane Couette flow with a periodically modulated plate velocity are conducted to study the effect of modulated forcing on turbulent shear flows. The time-averaged shear Reynolds number is fixed at Res=3x10^4, which results in a frictional Reynolds number of approximately Re_\tau≈400. The modulating frequency is varied in the range Wo ∈ (20,200), while the modulating amplitude is kept fixed at 10% of the shear velocity except to demonstrate that varying this parameter has minimal effect. The resulting shear at the plates is found to be independent of the forcing frequency, and equal to the non-modulated baseline. For the non-rotating simulations, two clear flow regions can be seen: a near-wall region that follows Stokes’ theoretical solution, and a bulk region that behaves similar to Stokes’ solutions but with an increased effective viscosity. For high driving frequencies, the amplitude response follows the scaling laws for modulated turbulence of von der Heydt et al. (Phys. Rev. E, vol. 67, 2003, 046308). Cyclonic rotation is not found to modify the system's behaviour in a substantial way, but anti-cyclonic rotation changes significantly the system's response to periodic forcing. We find that the persistent axial inhomogeneities introduced by mild anti-cyclonic rotation make it impossible to measure the propagation of the modulation adequately, while stronger anti-cyclonic rotation creates regions where the modulation travels instantaneously.