Research Article

Experiments in Fluids

, 54:1454

First online:

3D Stereoscopic PIV visualization of the axisymmetric conical internal wave field generated by an oscillating sphere

  • Sasan John GhaemsaidiAffiliated withDepartment of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Email author 
  • , Thomas PeacockAffiliated withDepartment of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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To date, experimental studies of internal wave velocity fields have been limited to two-dimensional investigations of planar or axisymmetric systems. Here, we present results of the first three-dimensional stereoscopic Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) visualizations of an internal wave field. The experiments utilize the canonical arrangement of a vertically oscillating sphere, which enables rigorous comparison with recently published theoretical results. The excellent level of agreement between experiment and theory demonstrates the utility of using stereoscopic PIV to study three-dimensional internal waves. Furthermore, the ability to measure all three components of the velocity field gives an alternative perspective on the significance of harmonics generated via nonlinear processes in the vicinity of the oscillating sphere.