Development of an experimental apparatus for flat plate drag measurements and considerations for such measurements

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Abstract

Accurately measuring small changes in aerodynamic drag over a flat surface stands at the core of the development of technologies capable of reducing turbulent friction drag. A wind tunnel drag measurement system was developed which improves significantly on the state of the art. Experimental tests demonstrated that an uncertainty of less than 0.5% of C D at a 95% confidence level was typically achieved, already at drag values below 1 N. This was replicated in two different wind tunnels. A match with literature on riblet performance within 1% of C D was obtained. A crucial aspect of the design is the implementation of a correction for the pressure forces on the streamwise-facing surfaces of the test plate assembly. The flexible architecture of the system in the present realisation makes it suitable for most wind tunnels having a test section width of 400 mm or larger, which allows for accelerated development of turbulent drag reduction concepts from moderate-size low-cost facilities towards flow conditions relevant to the intended industrial application.

Original languageEnglish
Article number055303
Number of pages13
JournalMeasurement Science and Technology
Volume33
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • aerodynamics
  • force balance measurements
  • hot-wire anemometry
  • turbulent drag

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