Research Article

Experiments in Fluids

, Volume 50, Issue 1, pp 13-21

First online:

Particle image velocimetry of a low-Reynolds-number separation bubble

  • A. BoikoAffiliated withKhristianovich Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics
  • , A. DovgalAffiliated withKhristianovich Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics Email author 
  • , S. HeinAffiliated withInstitute of Aerodynamics and Flow Technology, German Aerospace Center (DLR)
  • , A. HenningAffiliated withInstitute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (ILR), Technical University of Berlin

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Boundary-layer separation at a backward-facing step of a flat plate has been investigated in a low-turbulence wind tunnel with high-speed Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV). The experiments focused on the flow pattern behind the step at the Reynolds number based on its height of about 1,000. Under quiet environmental and low-Re-number conditions, laminar-flow separation was observed behind the step subjected to a small amount of the shear-layer instability. Examination of natural and controlled velocity perturbations in the separation region indicated that the version of PIV used in the present study is an appropriate tool to deal with linear instability details that is normally done through hot-wire measurements.