Experiments in Fluids

, Volume 45, Issue 6, pp 1023–1035 | Cite as

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

  • J. Sheng
  • E. Malkiel
  • J. Katz
Research Article


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.


Particle Image Velocimetry Wall Shear Stress Buffer Layer Direct Numerical Simulation Turbulent Boundary Layer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This research was supported in part by ONR (R. Joslin, program manager) under grant N000140310361, and in part by NSF under grant No. CTS 0625571. Development of the digital holographic microscope was supported in part by the NSF (P. Taylor, program manager) under grant OCE-0402792. Funding for the optical and computer instrumentation used in this study was provided by the NSF, MRI grant CTS0079674.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mechanical Engineering DepartmentThe Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA

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