Experiments in Fluids

, Volume 45, Issue 6, pp 1023–1035

Using digital holographic microscopy for simultaneous measurements of 3D near wall velocity and wall shear stress in a turbulent boundary layer

Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00348-008-0524-2

Cite this article as:
Sheng, J., Malkiel, E. & Katz, J. Exp Fluids (2008) 45: 1023. doi:10.1007/s00348-008-0524-2


A digital holographic microscope is used to simultaneously measure the instantaneous 3D flow structure in the inner part of a turbulent boundary layer over a smooth wall, and the spatial distribution of wall shear stresses. The measurements are performed in a fully developed turbulent channel flow within square duct, at a moderately high Reynolds number. The sample volume size is 90 × 145 × 90 wall units, and the spatial resolution of the measurements is 3–8 wall units in streamwise and spanwise directions and one wall unit in the wall-normal direction. The paper describes the data acquisition and analysis procedures, including the particle tracking method and associated method for matching of particle pairs. The uncertainty in velocity is estimated to be better than 1 mm/s, less than 0.05% of the free stream velocity, by comparing the statistics of the normalized velocity divergence to divergence obtained by randomly adding an error of 1 mm/s to the data. Spatial distributions of wall shear stresses are approximated with the least square fit of velocity measurements in the viscous sublayer. Mean flow profiles and statistics of velocity fluctuations agree very well with expectations. Joint probability density distributions of instantaneous spanwise and streamwise wall shear stresses demonstrate the significance of near-wall coherent structures. The near wall 3D flow structures are classified into three groups, the first containing a pair of counter-rotating, quasi streamwise vortices and high streak-like shear stresses; the second group is characterized by multiple streamwise vortices and little variations in wall stress; and the third group has no buffer layer structures.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mechanical Engineering DepartmentThe Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA