An efficient large-eddy simulation (LES) approach is investigated for laminar-to-turbulent transition in boundary layers. This approach incorporates the boundary-layer stability theory. Primary instability and subharmonic perturbations determined by the boundary-layer stability theory are assigned as forcing at the inlet of the LES computational domain. This LES approach reproduces the spatial development of instabilities in the boundary layer, as observed in wind tunnel experiments. Detailed linear growth and nonlinear interactions that lead to the H-type breakdown are well captured and compared well to previous direct numerical simulation (DNS). Requirements in the spatial resolution in the transition region are investigated with connections to the resolution in turbulent boundary layers. It is shown that the subgrid model used in this study is apparently dormant in the overall transitional region, allowing the right level of the growth of small-amplitude instabilities and their nonlinear interactions. The subgrid model becomes active near the end of the transition where the length scales of high-order instabilities become smaller in size compared to the given grid resolution. Current results demonstrate the benefit of the boundary-layer forcing method for the computational cost reduction.

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