Catastrophe-theory-based modeling of airfoil-stall boundary at low reynolds numbers


Journal Article

© 2017 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. All rights reserved. Airfoil stall at low Reynolds numbers is a complex nonlinear dynamic phenomenon, which is characterized by catastrophe and hysteresis. It is difficult but important to mathematically describe the stall points under different Reynolds numbers. In this paper, taking the clockwise hysteresis as an example, a modeling method is proposed to describe the boundary of static airfoil stall according to the topological properties and physical characteristics of airfoil stall. Through numerical simulations, the lift characteristics of an airfoil at different Reynolds numbers are computed, and it is found thatReynolds number can affect not only the catastrophe and hysteresis of airfoil stall, but also the size of the hysteresis loop. Next, the static stall at low Reynolds numbers and the dynamic behavior described by the cusp-catastrophic model are proved to have a similarity in spatial topology and physical properties. According to the topological invariant rules, the topological-mapping relationship between the catastrophe-point set of the cusp-catastrophic model and the stall points of the airfoil stall is established through the development of an accurate topological-transformation function.Consequently, the catastrophe lines described by the cusp-catastrophic model can be used to represent the static-stall boundary of the airfoil at differentReynolds numbers.The effect ofmodel description is verified by comparing themodel-predicted valueswith the simulated values, and the error is found to be less than1%.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Li, Z; Zhang, P; Pan, T; Li, Q; Zhang, J; Dowell, EH

Published Date

  • January 1, 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 56 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 36 - 45

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0001-1452

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2514/1.J056048

Citation Source

  • Scopus