The study presents a numerical method, based on the flux vector splitting approach, to the problem of unsteady one-dimensional and two-dimensional inviscid transonic flows, with emphasis on the numerical determination of the shock position, through nozzles with time-varying back pressure. The model is first validated by comparison with exact (one dimension) and numerical (two dimensions) steady-state solutions. It is thereafter applied to the problem of time-fluctuating back pressure in quasi-one-dimensional and two-dimensional nozzles. The one-dimensional results are validated by comparison with a small perturbation analytical unsteady solution, whereafter a few sample cases are presented with the objective of understanding fundamental aspects of unsteady transonic flows. It is concluded that both the amplitude and frequency of the imposed fluctuating exit pressure are important parameters for the location of the unsteady shock. It is also shown that the average unsteady shock position is not necessarily identical with the steady-state position, and that the unsteady shock may, under certain circumstances, propagate upstream into the subsonic flow domain. The pressure jump over the shock, as well as the unsteady post-shock pressure, is different for identical shock positions during the cycle of fluctuation, which implies that an unsteady shock movement, imposed by oscillating back pressure, may introduce a significant unsteady lift and moment. This may be of importance for flutter predictions. It is also noted that, although the sonic velocity is obtained in the throat of steady-state, quasi-one-dimensional flow, this is not necessarily true for the unsteady solution. During part of the period with fluctuating back pressure, the flow velocity may be subsonic at the throat and still reach a supersonic value later in the nozzle. This phenomenon depends on the frequency and amplitude of the imposed fluctuation, as well as on the nozzle geometry.

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