Combining high-speed planar PIV and motion tracking of a flexible cylinder in cross-flow


  • Diego George Gundersen University of Notre Dame
  • Kenneth Thor Christensen "University of Notre Dame; Illinois Institute of Technology"
  • Gianluca Blois University of Notre Dame



Most modeling studies investigating the flow dynamics in vegetation canopies are limited to rigid models as proxies for vegetation elements. However, most canopies embody some degree of structural flexibility, resulting in aeroelastic mechanisms coupling the motion of the vegetation with the surrounding flow. Studies addressing flexible canopies typically quantify either the flow or the plant motion independently, thus missing the instantaneous coupling between turbulent stresses and structural deformations. Few experiments have been devoted to measuring both quantities simultaneously. Okamoto and Nezu (2009) utilized a combined PIV-PTV technique to capture both flow and canopy motion. However, only the motion of the stem tips was captured, as opposed to the deformation of the entire stem. Py et al. (2006) employed digital image correlation (DIC) to quantify the motion of crop canopies using in-field images. However, the wind itself was not measured across the domain.

The present work presents an experimental technique that can be utilized to study the flow–structure interaction in flexible canopies, and that could be extended to other flexible and/or moving objects. High-speed PIV data of the flow surrounding an idealized canopy element, consisting of a flexible cylinder, together with the corresponding displacement field throughout the cylinder were simultaneously obtained combining fluorescent imaging and refractive index matching (RIM).






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