The mechanisms of drag reduction in a Mach 2 supersonic flow induced by repetitively deposited laser pulse energy are investigated through computational fluid dynamics based on Navier-Stokes equations for an axis-symmetric flow. The effectively deposited energy into the flow is determined by fitting a measured stagnation pressure history. With the repetition frequency lower than 20 kHz, the experimental flow-field, the residence time of baroclinically-generated vortex rings in the shock layer and drag reduction characteristics are well simulated by the axis-symmetric computation. At the lower frequency below 5 kHz, the low-density bubbles successively generated by energy depositions behave in an almost independent manner, so the drag reduction can be estimated by superimposing single pulses. At a middle frequency from 5 to 14 kHz, there is weak interaction among the successive vortex rings, but the behavior can be assumed to be almost independent. At even higher frequency, a quasi-stationary vortex ring is observed in the shock layer and grows according to frequency increases and the shape of the shock transit from the bow shock to the oblique one. The drag reduction is related to the number and the residence time of the vortex rings.
2013 The Japan Society for Aeronautical and Space Sciences