IR thermography for dynamic detection of laminar-turbulent transition

  • Bernhard SimonEmail author
  • Adrian Filius
  • Cameron Tropea
  • Sven Grundmann
Research Article


This work investigates the potential of infrared (IR) thermography for the dynamic detection of laminar-turbulent transition. The experiments are conducted on a flat plate at velocities of 8–14 m/s, and the transition of the laminar boundary layer to turbulence is forced by a disturbance source which is turned on and off with frequencies up to 10 Hz. Three different heating techniques are used to apply the required difference between fluid and structure temperature: a heated aluminum structure is used as an internal structure heating technique, a conductive paint acts as a surface bounded heater, while an IR heater serves as an example for an external heating technique. For comparison of all heating techniques, a normalization is introduced and the frequency response of the measured IR camera signal is analyzed. Finally, the different heating techniques are compared and consequences for the design of experiments on laminar-turbulent transition are discussed.


Aluminum Sheet Heating Technique Noise Equivalent Temperature Difference Disturbance Source Unsteady Heat Transfer 
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.



The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support by the German Research Foundation DFG (project GR 3524/4-1). We also wish to thank Klaus de Groot from DLR Braunschweig for the fruitful discussions. Finally the authors thank the “Institut für Luft- und Raumfahrt” (Technische Universität Berlin) for the free loan of the cooled FLIR SC 3000 infrared camera and the IDD (Technische Universität Darmstadt) for screen printing of the samples with conductive paint.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernhard Simon
    • 1
    Email author
  • Adrian Filius
    • 1
  • Cameron Tropea
    • 1
  • Sven Grundmann
    • 2
  1. 1.Center of Smart InterfacesTechnische Universität DarmstadtGriesheimGermany
  2. 2.Department of Fluid MechanicsUniversität RostockRostockGermany

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