Integrated Global Flow Diagnostics in Experimental Fluid Mechanics

Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Tianshu Liu, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

William Liou, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Parviz Merati, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Dewei Qi, Ph.D.


Aerodynamics, experimental fluid mechanics, global flow diagnostics


This dissertation describes the development of an integrated global flow diagnostics toolbox in experimental fluid mechanics for image-based measurement of physical quantities including fluid flow velocity, skin friction, surface temperature, and pressure. The proposed integrated flow diagnostics combines five experimental techniques including the optical flow method (OFM), the global luminescent oil-film (GLOF) skin friction meter, skin friction from surface temperature, skin friction from surface pressure, and surface pressure from skin friction. To provide a clear understanding of each technique, this work is divided in two parts. Part I provides the theorical foundation which includes a detailed discussion of the working principle and errors associated with each technique as well as brief examples. Part II evaluates the effectiveness and potential of the proposed global flow diagnostics through its application in unique and challenging experimental fluid mechanics problems including planetary cloud tracking, skin friction topology on ground vehicles, extraction of skin friction from surface temperature on a swept wing in transonic flow, skin friction and surface optical flow from temperature sensitive paint (TSP), extraction of skin friction from surface pressure in incident shock-wave/boundary-layer interaction (ISWBLI), validation of extraction of surface pressure from skin friction, and surface flow topology on delta wings.

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