Determination of Three Dimensional Time Varying Flow Structures

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Virginia Tech


Time varying flow structures are involved in a large percentage of fluid flows although there is still much unknown regarding their behavior. With the development of high spatiotemporal resolution measurement systems it is becoming more feasible to measure these complex flow structures, which in turn will lead to a better understanding of their impact. One method that has been developed for studying these flow structures is finite time Lyapunov exponents (FTLEs). These exponents can reveal regions in the fluid, referred to as Lagragnian coherent structures (LCSs), where fluid elements diverge or attract. Better knowledge of how these time varying structures behave can greatly impact a wide range of applications, from aircraft design and performance, to an improved understanding of mixing and transport in the human body.

This work provides the development of new methodologies for measuring and studying three-dimensional time varying structures. Provided herein is a method to improve replacement of erroneous measurements in particle image velocimetry data, which leads to increased accuracy in the data. Also, a method for directly measuring the finite time Lyapunov exponents from particle images is developed, as well as an experimental demonstration in a three-dimensional flow field. This method takes advantage of the information inherently contained in these images to improve accuracy and reduce computational requirements. Lastly, this work provides an in depth look at the flow field for developing wall jets across a wide range of Reynolds numbers investigating the mechanisms that contribute to their development.



Particle Image Velocimetry, Proper Orthogonal Decomposition, Finite Time Lyapunov Exponents, Lagrangian Coherent Structures