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Published April 25, 2000 | Published
Journal Article Open

On steady compressible flows with compact vorticity; the compressible Stuart vortex


Numerical and analytical solutions to the steady compressible Euler equations corresponding to a compressible analogue of the linear Stuart vortex array are presented. These correspond to a homentropic continuation, to finite Mach number, of the Stuart solution describing a linear vortex array in an incompressible fluid. The appropriate partial differential equations describing the flow correspond to the compressible homentropic Euler equations in two dimensions, with a prescribed vorticity–density–streamfunction relationship. In order to construct a well-posed problem for this continuation, it was found, unexpectedly, to be necessary to introduce an eigenvalue into the vorticity–density–streamfunction equation. In the Rayleigh–Janzen expansion of solutions in even powers of the free-stream Mach number M[infty infinity], this eigenvalue is determined by a solvability condition. Accurate numerical solution by both finite-difference and spectral methods are presented for the compressible Stuart vortex, over a range of M[infty infinity], and of a parameter corresponding to a confined mass-flow rate. These also confirm the nonlinear eigenvalue character of the governing equations. All solution branches followed numerically were found to terminate when the maximum local Mach number just exceeded unity. For one such branch we present evidence for the existence of a very small range of M[infty infinity] over which smooth transonic shock-free flow can occur.

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© Cambridge University Press 2000. Reprinted with permission. (Received 20 January 1999 and in revised form 1 June 1999)

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