This work presents the details of a system for experimentally identifying laminar-to-turbulent transition using infrared thermography applied to large, metal models in low-speed wind tunnel tests. Key elements of the transition detection system include infrared cameras with sensitivity in the 7.5- to 14.0-µm spectral range and a thin, insulating coat for the model. The fidelity of the system was validated through experiments on two wind-turbine blade airfoil sections tested at Reynolds numbers between Re = 1.5 × 106 and 3 × 106. Results compare well with measurements from surface pressure distributions and stethoscope observations. However, the infrared-based system provides data over a much broader range of conditions and locations on the model. This paper chronicles the design, implementation and validation of the infrared transition detection system, a subject which has not been widely detailed in the literature to date.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 30, 2016
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