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Particle image velocimetry, PCB pressure sensors, and planar Rayleigh scattering are combined to study the development of second-mode instability in a Mach 6 flow over a flat plate with two-dimensional roughness. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first time that the instantaneous velocity fields and flow structures of the second-mode instability waves passing through the roughness are shown experimentally. A two-dimensional transverse wall blowing is used to generate second-mode instability in the boundary layer and seeding tracer particles. The two-dimensional roughness is located upstream of the synchronization point between mode S and mode F. The experimental results showed that the amplitude of the second-mode instability will be greatly increased upstream of the roughness. Then it damps and recovers quickly in the vicinity downstream of the roughness. Further downstream, it acts as no-roughness case, which confirms Fong’s numerical results [K. D. Fong, X. W. Wang, and X. L. Zhong, “Numerical simulation of roughness effect on the stability of a hypersonic boundary layer,” Comput. Fluids , 350 (2014)]. It also has been observed that the strength of the amplification and damping effect depends on the height of the roughness.


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