Instabilities in the Wake of an Inclined Prolate Spheroid

Helge Andersson*, Fengjian Jiang, Valery Okulov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


We investigate the instabilities, bifurcations and transition in the wake behind a 45-degree inclined 6:1 prolate spheroid, through a series of direct numerical simulations (DNS) over a wide range of Reynolds numbers (Re) from 10 to 3000. We provide a detailed picture of how the originally symmetric and steady laminar wake at low Re gradually looses its symmetry and turns unsteady as Re is gradually increased. Several fascinating flow features have first been revealed and subsequently analysed, e.g. an asymmetric time-averaged flow field, a surprisingly strong side force etc. As the wake partially becomes turbulent, we investigate a dominating coherent wake structure, namely a helical vortex tube, inside of which a helical symmetry alteration scenario was recovered in the intermediate wake, together with self-similarity in the far wake.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputational Modelling of Bifurcations and Instabilities in Fluid Dynamics
EditorsAlexander Gelfgat
Number of pages42
Publication date2018
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-91493-0
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-91494-7
Publication statusPublished - 2018
SeriesComputational Methods in Applied Sciences


  • Instability
  • Prolate spheroid
  • Wakes

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