Measurement of velocity vectors with orthogonal and non-orthogonal triple-sensor probes

I. C. Lekakis, R. J. Adrian, B. G. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


A new method of interpreting the signals from triple-sensor thermal anemometer probes has been developed based on fast solution for all the roots of the non-linear Jorgensen (1971) equations describing the directional response of each cylindrical sensor. The sensors can be oriented at arbitrary angles to each other, but always within a range of probe geometries that keep prong interference and thermal wake interference below acceptable levels. The properties of a class of non-orthogonal symmetric tetrahedral probe geometries are studied in relation to the range of flow vector angles that can be measured, the sensitivity of the probe with respect to changes in flow angle, and the sensitivity of the computed velocity components due to angular errors associated with the construction of the probe. The solutions of Jorgensen's equations are inherently multiple-valued, but if the velocity vector is restricted to be within a cone of angles, they are unique. It is shown that measurements with non-orthogonal triple sensor signals are sensitive to angular deviations of a few degrees of the sensor angles from the nominally orthogonal probe geometry, indicating the need of a non-orthogonal algorithm. The mean, rms, Reynolds stress, and power spectrum of the velocity in fully developed turbulent pipe flow were measured using a specially designed triple sensor probe and the proposed algorithm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-240
Number of pages13
JournalExperiments in Fluids
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 1 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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