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Accuracy of out-of-plane vorticity measurements derived from in-plane velocity field data

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 A study of the errors in out-of-plane vorticity (ω z ) calculated using a local χ2 fitting of the measured velocity field and analytic differentiation has been carried out. The primary factors of spatial velocity sampling separation and random velocity measurement error have been investigated. In principle the ω z error can be decomposed into a bias error contribution and a random error contribution. Theoretical expressions for the transmission of the random velocity error into the random vorticity error have been derived. The velocity and vorticity field of the Oseen vortex has been used as a typical vortex structure in this study. Data of different quality, ranging from exact velocity vectors of analytically defined flow fields (Oseen vortex flow) sampled at discrete locations to computer generated digital image frames analysed using cross-correlation DPIV, have been investigated in this study. This data has been used to provide support for the theoretical random error results, to isolate the different sources of error and to determine their effect on ω z measurements. A method for estimating in-situ the velocity random error is presented. This estimate coupled with the theoretically derived random error transmission results for the χ2 vorticity calculation method can be used a priori to estimate the magnitude of the random error in ω z . This random error is independent of a particular flow field. The velocity sampling separation is found to have a profound effect on the precise determination of ω z by introducing a bias error. This bias error results in an underestimation of the peak vorticity. Simple equations, which are based on a local model of the Oseen vortex around the peak vorticity region, allowing the prediction of the ω z bias error for the χ2 vorticity calculation method, are presented. An important conclusion of this study is that the random error transmission factor and the bias error cannot be minimised simultaneously. Both depend on the velocity sampling separation, but with opposing effects. The application of the random and bias vorticity error predictions are illustrated by application to experimental velocity data determined using cross-correlation DPIV (CCDPIV) analysis of digital images of a laminar vortex ring.

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Received: 31 October 1997/Accepted: 6 February 1998

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Fouras, A., Soria, J. Accuracy of out-of-plane vorticity measurements derived from in-plane velocity field data. Experiments in Fluids 25, 409–430 (1998).

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