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Proceedings Paper

A Nonperturbing Boundary-Layer Transition Detector
Author(s): J. E. O'Hare
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Paper Abstract

A laser interferometer technique is being applied to the characterization of boundary-layer conditions on models in supersonic and hypersonic wind tunnels in the von Kaman Facility at Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC). The Boundary-Layer Transition Detector (BLTD), based on lateral interferometry, is applicable for determining the turbulence frequency spectrum of boundary layers in compressible flow. The turbulence, in terms of air density fluctuations, is detected by monitoring interferometric fringe phase shifts (in real time) formed by one beam which passes through the boundary layer and a reference beam which is outside the boundary layer. This technique is nonintrusive to the flow field unlike other commonly used methods such as pitot tube probing and hot-wire anemometry. Model boundary-layer data are presented at Mach 8 and compared with data recorded using other methods during boundary-layer transition from laminar to turbulent flow. Spectra from the BLTD reveal the presence of a high-frequency peak during transition, which is characteristic of spectra obtained with hot wires. The BLTD is described along with operational requirements and limitations.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 January 1986
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 0569, High Speed Photography, Videography, and Photonics III, (14 January 1986); doi: 10.1117/12.949864
Show Author Affiliations
J. E. O'Hare, Calspan Corporation (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0569:
High Speed Photography, Videography, and Photonics III
Howard C. Johnson; Bernard G. Ponseggi, Editor(s)

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