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Auld, 1998-2010 : www.aerodynamics4students.

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Flow Visualisation
It is etremely im!ortant, "e#ore attem!tin$ to analyse an aerodynamic #low, to understand t%e
"e%a&iour o#
t%e #low. '%is can "e done usin$ &arious tec%ni(ues to ma)e t%e #low &isi"le. '%e introduction o#
smo)e lines
to #ollow t%e air#low, t%e addition o# sur#ace tu#ts, oils or sensiti&e !i$ments are all met%ods to
allow t%e
in&esti$ator to *see* w%at is %a!!enin$. For %i$%er s!eed #lows, density $radients can "e used
wit% o!tical
systems to see com!ression and e!ansion re$ions.
'%ese &isualisations can t%en "e used to in#er t%e nature o# t%e #low in terms o# motion,
circulation, &orte
e##ects, #low se!arations and tur"ulence. '%is allows a!!ro!riate c%oices or sim!li#ications o#
t%e e(uations
used to sol&e t%e #low. +it%out suc% &isualisation, incorrect assum!tions will lead to
assum!tions #or t%e
solution o# t%e #low t%at may not "e directly rele&ant to t%e !ro"lem "ein$ considered and %ence
may lead to
lar$e errors.
,ome eam!les o# #low &isualisation are s%own "elow. -lic) on t%e #low ima$es to &iew
animations o# t%e
#lows.
1. Aero#oil section #low
,mo)e &isualistion o# #low around two dimensional
aero#oil section.
.ote:
/ c%an$e in smo)eline cur&ature and s!acin$ as
t%e an$le increases.
/ sli$%t tur"ulence in u!!er sur#ace "oundary layer
e&en at low an$les w%en #low is attac%ed.
/ total se!aration o# #low #rom u!!er sur#ace at 10
de$rees an$le o# attac), indicatin$ stall.
2. Vorte +in$ 'i! Flow.
,mo)e &isualistion o# #low around t%ree dimensional
win$ s%owin$ ti! #ormation o# trailin$ &orte #low.
.ote:
/ ,mo)e lines s!iral around win$ ti! #ormin$ lar$e
trailin$ &orte.
/ Vorte si1e increases as an$le o# attac) is
increased.
/ 2ownward #low "e%ind win$ indicatin$
ma$nitude o# downwas% e##ect.3. 2elta +in$ Vorte 4air.
,mo)e &isualistion o# #low around t%ree dimensional
delta win$ s%owin$ sur#ace &orticies #ormed #rom
leadin$ ed$e se!aration.
.ote:
/ ,mo)e lines s!iral #rom leadin$ ed$e into a
lar$e !air o# &orticies sittin$ a"o&e t%e aero#oil
sur#ace.
/ 5ocation o# &orte core runnin$ o&er sur#ace
"e%ind leadin$ ed$e not #rom win$ ti!.
4. Aerodynamically 2esi$ned -ar.
,mo)e &isualistion o# #low around t%ree dimensional
s!orts car s%owin$ centerline #low.
.ote:
/ 4osition o# leadin$ sta$nation !oint.
/ 4osition o# trailin$ se!aration !oint.
/ ,i1e o# se!arated wa)e re$ion.
0. ,(uare 6d$ed 'ruc).
,mo)e &isualistion o# #low around t%ree dimensional
truc) s%owin$ centerline #low.
.ote:
/ 4osition o# leadin$ sta$nation !oint.
/ ,econd sta$nation !oint on windscreen.
/ 4osition o# trailin$ se!aration !oint.
/ ,i1e o# se!arated wa)e re$ion.
7. -ar, -ara&an -om"ination.
,mo)e &isualistion o# #low around t%ree dimensional car
and cara&an model s%owin$ centerline #low.
.ote:
/ 4osition o# leadin$ sta$nation !oint.
/ ,econd sta$nation !oint on cara&an.
/ 4osition o# trailin$ se!aration !oint.
/ ,i1e o# se!arated wa)e re$ion.

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