A direct measure of the frequency response of hot-wire anemometers: temporal resolution issues in wall-bounded turbulence

N. Hutchins, J. P. Monty, Marcus Nils Hultmark, Alexander Smits

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28 Scopus citations


Based on the need to characterise the accuracy of hot-wire anemometry (HWA) in high Reynolds number wall-bounded turbulence, we here propose a novel direct method for testing the frequency response of various systems to very high frequency velocity fluctuations (up to 50 kHz). A fully developed turbulent pipe flow is exploited to provide the input velocity perturbations. Utilising the unique capabilities of the Princeton Superpipe, it is possible to explore a variety of turbulent pipe flows at matched Reynolds numbers, but with turbulent energy in different frequency ranges. Assuming Reynolds number similarity, any differences between the appropriately scaled energy spectra for these flows should be indicative of measurement error. Having established the accuracy of this testing procedure, the response of several anemometer and probe combinations is tested. While these tests do not provide a direct or definitive comparison between different anemometers (owing to non-optimal tuning in each case), they do provide useful examples of potential frequency responses that could be encountered in HWA experiments. These results are subsequently used to predict error arising from HWA response for measurements in wall-bounded turbulent flows. For current technology, based on the results obtained here, the frequency response of under- or over-damped HWA systems can only be considered approximately flat up to 5–7 kHz. For flows with substantial turbulent energy in frequencies above this range, errors in measured turbulence quantities due to temporal resolution are increasingly likely.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalExperiments in Fluids
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 22 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes

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