The objective of this research is to study the effects of irregular multi-scale surface roughness, representative of realistic surfaces, on the aerodynamics and hydrodynamics of the turbulent boundary layers. Our studies consider a variety of different surface textures in order to systematically investigate the effects of differing scales and patterns on the flow. Custom fine-scale roughness patterns are printed using in-house 3D printing facilities while larger-scale patterns are constructed using LEGO pieces connected to a baseboard installed on the floor of the wind tunnel. Measurements of the drag of these patterns are obtained using a custom drag force balance. High-resolution measurements of the structure of the boundary layers over the surface are acquired using stereo particle image velocimetry (SPIV). This research is conducted by Dr. Christina Vanderwel, who is a Marie-Curie Research Fellow in the Aerodynamics and Flight Mechanics Group.

Project leader : Dr Christina Vanderwel

Main supervisor(s): Prof. Ganapathisubramani

​Effects of spanwise heterogeneous roughness on turbulent boundary layers