Koopman mode analysis of the side-by-side cylinder wake
Abstract: In many situations, fluid flows can exhibit a wide range of temporal and spatial phenomena. It has become common to extract physically important features, called modes, as a first step in the analysis of flows with high complexity. One of the most prominent modal analysis techniques in the context of fluid dynamics is Proper Orthogonal Decomposition (POD), which enables extraction of energetically coherent structures present in the flow field. This method does, however, suffer from the lack of connection with the mathematical theory of dynamical systems and its utility in the analysis of arbitrarily complex flows might therefore be limited. In the present work, we instead consider application of the Koopman Mode Decomposition (KMD), which is an approach based on spectral decomposition of the Koopman operator. This technique is employed for modal analysis of the incompressible, two-dimensional ow past two side-by-side cylinders at Re = 60 and with a non-dimensional cylinder gap spacing g' = 1. This particular configuration yields a wake ow which exhibits in-phase vortex shedding during finite time, while later transforming into the so-called flip-flopping phenomena, which is characterised by a slow, periodic switching of the gap ow direction during O(10) vortex shedding cycles. The KMD approach yields modal structures which, in contrary to POD, are associated with specific oscillation frequencies. Specifically, these structures are here vorticity modes. By studying these modes, we are able to extract the ow components which are responsible for the flip-flop phenomenon. In particular, it is found that the flip-flop instability is mainly driven by three different modal structures, oscillating with Strouhal frequencies St1 = 0:023, St2 = 0:121 and St3 = 0:144, where it is noted that St3 = St1 + St2. In addition, we study the in-phase vortex shedding regime, as well as the transient regime connecting the two states of the flow. The study of the in-phase vortex shedding reveals| - not surprisingly - the presence of a single fundamental frequency, while the study of the transient reveals a Koopman spectrum which might indicate the existence of a bifurcation in the phase space of the flow field; this idea has been proposed before in Carini et al. (2015b). We conclude that the KMD offers a powerful framework for analysis of this ow case, and its range of applications might soon include even more complex flows.
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