Obtaining accurate mean velocity measurements in high Reynolds number turbulent boundary layers using Pitot tubes

S. C.C. Bailey, M. Hultmark, J. P. Monty, P. H. Alfredsson, M. S. Chong, R. D. Duncan, J. H.M. Fransson, N. Hutchins, I. Marusic, B. J. McKeon, H. M. Nagib, R. Örlü, A. Segalini, A. J. Smits, R. Vinuesa

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Abstract This article reports on one component of a larger study on measurement of the zero-pressure-gradient turbulent flat plate boundary layer, in which a detailed investigation was conducted of the suite of corrections required for mean velocity measurements performed using Pitot tubes. In particular, the corrections for velocity shear across the tube and for blockage effects which occur when the tube is in close proximity to the wall were investigated using measurements from Pitot tubes of five different diameters, in two different facilities, and at five different Reynolds numbers ranging from Reθ = 11 100 to 67 000. Only small differences were found amongst commonly used corrections for velocity shear, but improvements were found for existing near-wall proximity corrections. Corrections for the nonlinear averaging of the velocity fluctuations were also investigated, and the results compared to hot-wire data taken as part of the same measurement campaign. The streamwise turbulence-intensity correction was found to be of comparable magnitude to that of the shear correction, and found to bring the hot-wire and Pitot results into closer agreement when applied to the data, along with the other corrections discussed and refined here.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)642-670
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - Jan 25 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


  • turbulent boundary layers
  • turbulent flows


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