This paper presents an analysis of the differential infrared thermography (DIT) technique, a contactless method of measuring the unsteady movement of the boundary layer transition position on an unprepared surface. DIT has been shown to measure boundary layer transition positions which correlate well with those from other measurement methods. In this paper unsteady aerodynamics from a 2D URANS solution are used and the resulting wall temperatures computed. It is shown that the peak of the temperature difference signal correlates well with the boundary layer transition position, but that the start and end of boundary layer transition cannot be extracted. A small systematic time-lag cannot be reduced by using different surface materials, but the signal strength can be improved by reducing the heat capacity and heat transfer of the surface layer, for example by using a thin plastic coating. Reducing the image time separation used to produce the difference images reduces the time-lag and also the signal level, thus the optimum is when the signal to noise ratio is at the minimum which can be evaluated.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 18, 2017
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