Experimental Measurements of the Wake of a Sphere at Subcritical Reynolds Numbers Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract This work experimentally investigated the flow phenomena and vortex structures in the wake of a sphere located in a water loop at Reynolds numbers of Re=850, 1,250, and 1,700. Velocity fields in the wake region were obtained by applying the time-resolved stereoscopic particle image velocimetry (TR-SPIV) technique. From the acquired TR-SPIV velocity vector fields, the statistical values of mean and fluctuating velocities were computed. Spectral analysis, two-point velocityvelocity cross-correlation, proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) and vortex identification analyses were also performed. The velocity fields show a recirculation region that decreases in length with an increase of Reynolds numbers. The power spectra from the spectral analysis had peaks corresponding to a Strouhal number of St=0.2, which is a value commonly found in the literature studies of flow over a sphere. The two-point cross-correlation analysis revealed elliptical structures in the wake, with estimated integral length scales ranging between 12% and 63% of the sphere diameter. The POD analysis revealed the statistically dominant flow structures that captured the most flow kinetic energy. It is seen that the flow kinetic energy captured in the smaller scale flow structures increased as Reynolds number increased. The POD modes contained smaller structure as the Reynolds number increased and as mode order increased. In addition, spectral analysis performed on the POD temporal coefficients revealed peaks corresponding to St=0.2, similar to the spectral analysis on the fluctuating velocity. The ability of POD to produce low-order reconstructions of the flow was also utilized to facilitate vortex identification analysis, which identified average vortex sizes of 0.41D for Re1, 0.33D for Re2, and 0.32D for Re3.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Muyshondt, R., Nguyen, T., Hassan, Y. A., & Anand, N. K.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Muyshondt, Robert||Nguyen, Thien||Hassan, YA||Anand, NK

publication date

  • June 2021