The laminar-turbulent transition process in a parallel boundary-layer with Blasius profile is simulated by numerical integration of the three-dimensional incompressible Navier-Stokes equations using a spectral method. The model of spatially periodic disturbances developing in time is used. Both the classical Klebanoff-type and the subharmonic type of transition are simulated. Maps of the three-dimensional velocity and vorticity fields and visualizations by integrated fluid markers are obtained. The numerical results are compared with experimental measurements and flow visualizations by other authors. Good qualitative and quantitative agreement is found at corresponding stages of development up to the one-spike stage. After the appearance of two-dimensional Tollmien-Schlichting waves of sufficiently large amplitude an increasing three-dimensionality is observed. In particular, a peak-valley structure of the velocity fluctuations, mean longitudinal vortices and sharp spike-like instantaneous velocity signals are formed. The flow field is dominated by a three-dimensional horseshoe vortex system connected with free high-shear layers. Visualizations by time-lines show the formation of A-structures. Our numerical results connect various observations obtained with different experimental techniques. The initial three-dimensional steps of the transition process are consistent with the linear theory of secondary instability. In the later stages nonlinear interactions of the disturbance modes and the production of higher harmonics are essential.
We also study the control of transition by local two-dimensional suction and blowing at the wall. It is shown that transition can be delayed or accelerated by superposing disturbances which are out of phase or in phase with oncoming Tollmien-Schlichting instability waves, respectively. Control is only effective if applied at an early, two-dimensional stage of transition. Mean longitudinal vortices remain even after successful control of the fluctuations.