Measurements of the velocity field of a wing-tip vortex, wandering in grid turbulence

S. C.C. Bailey, S. Tavoularis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Velocity measurements were performed in a wing-tip vortex wandering in free-stream turbulence using two four-wire hot-wire probes. Vortex wandering was well represented by a bi-normal probability density with increasing free-stream turbulence resulting in increased amplitude of wandering. The most dominant wavelength of wandering was found to remain unaffected by free-stream conditions. Two-point velocity measurements were used to reconstruct the vortex velocity profile in a frame of reference wandering with the vortex. Increasing turbulence intensity was found to increase the rate of decay of the vortex peak circumferential velocity while the radial location of this peak velocity remained unchanged. These results are consistent with several possible vortex decay mechanisms, including the stripping of vorticity by azimuthally aligned vortical structures, transfer of angular momentum from the vortex to these structures during their formation and the deformation and breakup of the vortex by strong free-stream eddies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-315
Number of pages35
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - Apr 25 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge M. Yaras and B. H. K. Lee for their insightful discussions in the early stages of this work. Additional acknowledgements are due to P. Vukoslavcˇević for constructing the four-sensor probes used in this study and assisting with their use and to S. Sjolander for lending us additional anemometers. Financial support was provided by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada with additional support for S. Bailey provided by the Ontario Graduate Scholarships in Science and Technology program.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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