Potential of Micro-Vortex Generators in Enhancing the Quality of Flow in a Hypersonic Inlet-Isolator


  • Azam Che Idris Faculty of Integrated Technologies, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, BE1410, Brunei Darussalam
  • Mohd Rashdan Saad Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia, Kem Perdana Sungai Besi, Kuala Lumpur 57000, Malaysia
  • Konstantinos Kontis Mechan Chair of Engineering, Aerospace Sciences Division, James Watt School of Engineering, University of Glasgow, G12 8QQ, Scotland, United Kingdom




shock wave-boundary layer interaction, micro-vortex generator, flow separation


The rush to be the first to demonstrate a practical hypersonic cruise missile has never been more frantic among the world’s superpowers, especially since China and India have also announced their own programme. The main hurdle for safe hypersonic flight is the severe shock wave-boundary layer interaction (SWBLI) that could induce flow separation. The separation could lead to inlet unstart and also structural damage at the flow re-attachment point. The simplest method to control these phenomena is by using passive flow control devices such as micro-vortex generator (MVG). The MVG is typically sized in the range of sub-boundary layer and the vortex generated can induce an early transition to turbulence thus avoiding or reducing the impact of flow separation. Many studies have been published with regard to MVG, but most were done in low supersonic speed and not in the hypersonic flow regime. In the current study, the MVG array was placed strategically at various locations on a hypersonic inlet-isolator representative geometry. The MVG has been proven to be very effective in eliminating or reducing the size of flow separation thus reducing the associated peak pressure at the re-attachment point.   


Roberts, Kristen, and Donald Wilson. "Analysis and design of a hypersonic scramjet engine with a transition Mach number of 4.00." In 47th AIAA aerospace sciences meeting including the new horizons forum and aerospace exposition (2009): 1255. https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2009-1255

Fry, Ronald S. "A century of ramjet propulsion technology evolution." Journal of propulsion and power 20, no. 1 (2004): 27-58. https://doi.org/10.2514/1.9178

Delery, Jean M. "Shock wave/turbulent boundary layer interaction and its control." Progress in Aerospace Sciences 22, no. 4 (1985): 209-280. https://doi.org/10.1016/0376-0421(85)90001-6

Dolling, David S. "Fifty years of shock-wave/boundary-layer interaction research: what next?." AIAA journal 39, no. 8 (2001): 1517-1531. https://doi.org/10.2514/3.14896

Gruhn, Patrick, and Ali Gülhan. "Experimental investigation of a hypersonic inlet with and without sidewall compression." Journal of Propulsion and Power 27, no. 3 (2011): 718-729. https://doi.org/10.2514/1.50347

Häberle, Jürgen, and Ali Gülhan. "Investigation of two-dimensional scramjet inlet flowfield at Mach 7." Journal of Propulsion and Power 24, no. 3 (2008): 446-459. https://doi.org/10.2514/1.33545

Hohn, Oliver, and Ali Gülhan. "Experimental investigation on the influence of sidewall compression on the flowfield of a scramjet inlet at Mach 7." In 17th AIAA International Space Planes and Hypersonic Systems and Technologies Conference, p. 2350. (2011). https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2011-2350

Hohn, Oliver, and Ali Gülhan. "Experimental investigation on the influence of yaw angle on the inlet performance at Mach 7." In 48th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting Including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition, p. 938. (2010). https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2010-938

Tan, H. J., S. Sun, and H. X. Huang. "Behavior of shock trains in a hypersonic inlet/isolator model with complex background waves." Experiments in fluids 53, no. 6 (2012): 1647-1661. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00348-012-1386-1

Idris, Azam Che, Mohd Rashdan Saad, Hossein Zare-Behtash, and Konstantinos Kontis. "Luminescent measurement systems for the investigation of a scramjet inlet-isolator." Sensors 14, no. 4 (2014): 6606-6632. https://doi.org/10.3390/s140406606

Idris, Azam Che, Mohd Rashdan Saad, Kin Hing Lo, and Konstantinos Kontis. "Background-oriented schlieren (BOS) for scramjet inlet-isolator investigation." In IOP conference series: materials science and engineering, vol. 370. IOP Publishing, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1088/1757-899X/370/1/012003

Idris, Azam Che, Mohd Rashdan Saad, Mohd Rosdzimin Abdul Rahman, F. R. Hashim, and K. Kontis. "Experimental validation of artificial neural network (ANN) model for scramjet inlet monitoring and control." Int J Recent Technol Eng 7, no. 5S4 (2019): 558-563.

Saad, Mohd R., Hossein Zare-Behtash, Azam Che-Idris, and Konstantinos Kontis. "Micro-ramps for hypersonic flow control." Micromachines 3, no. 2 (2012): 364-378. https://doi.org/10.3390/mi3020364

Saad, Mohd Rashdan, A. Idris, H. Zare-Behtash, and Konstantinos Kontis. "Micro-ramps in Mach 5 hypersonic flow." In 50th AIAA aerospace sciences meeting including the new horizons forum and aerospace exposition (2012): 676. https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2012-676

Sidhu, Baljit Singh, Mohd Rashdan Saad, Ku Zarina Ku Ahmad, and Azam Che Idris. "Riblets for airfoil drag reduction in subsonic flow." ARPN J Eng Appl Sci 11, no. 12 (2016): 7694-7698.

Idris, A. C., M. R. Saad, and K. Kontis. "Microvortex generator for scramjet inlet application." Progress in Propulsion Physics–Volume 11 11 (2019): 747-758. https://doi.org/10.1051/eucass/201911747

McCormick, D. C. "Shock/boundary-layer interaction control with vortex generators and passive cavity." AIAA journal 31, no. 1 (1993): 91-96. https://doi.org/10.2514/3.11323

Babinsky, H., Yl Li, and CW Pitt Ford. "Microramp control of supersonic oblique shock-wave/boundary-layer interactions." AIAA journal 47, no. 3 (2009): 668-675. https://doi.org/10.2514/1.38022

Anderson, Bernhard, Jon Tinapple, and Lewis Surber. "Optimal control of shock wave turbulent boundary layer interactions using micro-array actuation." In 3rd AIAA flow control conference (2006): 3197. https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2006-3197

Blinde, Paul L., Ray A. Humble, Bas W. Van Oudheusden, and Fulvio Scarano. "Effects of micro-ramps on a shock wave/turbulent boundary layer interaction." Shock Waves 19, no. 6 (2009): 507. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00193-009-0231-9

Zhu, Yangzhu, Shihe Yi, Haolin Ding, Wansheng Nie, and Zhongwei Zhang. "Structures and aero-optical effects of supersonic flow over a backward facing step with vortex generators." European Journal of Mechanics-B/Fluids 74 (2019): 302-311. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.euromechflu.2018.09.003

Qinghu, Zhang, Xu Xiaobin, Wang Xiong, Lin Jingzhou, and Tong Hua. "Effect of micro-ramps on supersonic boundary layer past a double wedge." Journal of Visualization 21, no. 1 (2018): 1-4. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12650-017-0441-7

Kaushik, Mrinal. "Experimental studies on micro-vortex generator controlled shock/boundary-layer interactions in mach 2.2 intake." International Journal of Aeronautical and Space Sciences 20, no. 3 (2019): 584-595. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42405-019-00166-5

Verma, S. B., and C. Manisankar. "Control of a Mach reflection-induced interaction using an array of vane-type vortex generators." Shock Waves 28, no. 4 (2018): 815-828. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00193-017-0780-2

Rahman, Mohd Rosdzimin Abdul, Kin Yuen Leong, Azam Che Idris, Mohd Rashdan Saad, and Mahmood Anwar. "Numerical analysis of the forced convective heat transfer on Al 2 O 3–Cu/water hybrid nanofluid." Heat and Mass Transfer 53, no. 5 (2017): 1835-1842. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00231-016-1941-z

Rahman, Mohd Rosdzimin Abdul, Kin Yuen Leong, Azam Che Idris, and Mohd Rashdan Saad. "Thermal fluid dynamics of Al2O3–Cu/water hybrid nanofluid in inclined lid driven cavity." Journal of Nanofluids 6, no. 1 (2017): 149-154. https://doi.org/10.1166/jon.2017.1300

Shuib, W. M. A. W., Azam Che Idris, Mohd Rashdan Saad, Mohd Faizal Hasan, and M. R. Rahman. "Study on the effect of bluff body with slit in the micro-channel combustor." J Adv Res Fluid Mech Thermal Sci 52, no. 2 (2018): 215-222.

Abd Majid, Nurulhasnan, Azam Che Idris, Hasan Mohd Faizal, Mohd Rosdzimin Abdul Rahman, and Seyed Ehsan Hosseini. "Characteristics of liquid fuel combustion in a novel miniature vortex combustor." Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry (2019): 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10973-019-09011-z

Slater, John W., and John D. Saunders. "Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation of hypersonic turbine-based combined-cycle (TBCC) inlet mode transition." (2010).

Nguyen, Tue, Gero Schieffer, Christian Fischer, Herbert Olivier, Marek Behr, and Birgit Reinartz. "Details of turbulence modeling in numerical simulations of scramjet intake." In 27th Congress of International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences (ICAS), Nice, France (2010): 19-24.

Erdem, E., K. Kontis, and L. Yang. "Steady energy deposition at Mach 5 for drag reduction." Shock Waves 23, no. 4 (2013): 285-298. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00193-010-0247-1

Guan, Xiang Yi. "Verification of FLUENT in the Computation of Supersonic Inlet." In Advanced Materials Research, vol. 591, Trans Tech Publications Ltd, (2012): 2064-2067. https://doi.org/10.4028/www.scientific.net/AMR.591-593.2064

Reinartz, Birgit. "Parameter Study for Scramjet Intake Concerning Wall Temperatures and Turbulence Modeling." In High Performance Computing in Science and Engineering'11 (2012): 425-436. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-23869-7_31




How to Cite

Che Idris, A., Saad, M. R., & Kontis, K. (2021). Potential of Micro-Vortex Generators in Enhancing the Quality of Flow in a Hypersonic Inlet-Isolator. Journal of Advanced Research in Fluid Mechanics and Thermal Sciences, 77(1), 1–10. https://doi.org/10.37934/arfmts.77.1.110




Most read articles by the same author(s)