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Dynamic calibration technique for thermal shear-stress sensors with mean flow


This paper presents the development of a dynamic calibration technique for thermal shear-stress sensors using acoustic plane wave excitation. The technique permits the independent variation in the mean and fluctuating shear stresses. The theoretical development and the practical implementation of the technique are presented. The studied configuration has the capability to dynamically calibrate shear-stress sensors up to 20 kHz. An illustrative application of this technique to an uncompensated silicon micromachined thermal shear-stress sensor operated in constant current mode is discussed. Specifically, the sensor has been statically calibrated over a range of wall shear stress from 7 to 80 mPa. A dynamic calibration of the sensor over a range of 2–12 mPa has been performed up to 7 kHz.

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Financial support for this project was provided by NASA Langley Research Center (Grant#NAG-1-2133) and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (Contract# F4962-97-1-0507). The thermal shear-stress sensors used to validate the dynamic calibration technique were fabricated in the Microsystems Technology Laboratories (MTL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. We would like to thank Dr. J. Voldman for his help in the sensor fabrication process and TMR Engineering for fabricating the plane wave tube. The last author would like to thank Dr. K. Uno Ingard for his helpful technical discussions.

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Correspondence to V. Chandrasekaran.

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Chandrasekaran, V., Cain, A., Nishida, T. et al. Dynamic calibration technique for thermal shear-stress sensors with mean flow. Exp Fluids 39, 56–65 (2005).

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  • Shear Stress
  • Wall Shear Stress
  • Frequency Response Function
  • Stokes Number
  • Pressure Perturbation