Tracking the dynamics of translation and absolute orientation of a sphere in a turbulent flow

Zimmermann, Robert; Gasteuil, Yoann; Bourgoin, Mickael; Volk, Romain; Pumir, Alain; Pinton, Jean-François
March 2011
Review of Scientific Instruments;Mar2011, Vol. 82 Issue 3, p033906
Academic Journal
We study the six-dimensional dynamics-position and orientation-of a large sphere advected by a turbulent flow. The movement of the sphere is recorded with two high-speed cameras. Its orientation is tracked using a novel, efficient algorithm; it is based on the identification of possible orientation 'candidates' at each time step, with the dynamics later obtained from maximization of a likelihood function. Analysis of the resulting linear and angular velocities and accelerations reveal a surprising intermittency for an object whose size lies in the inertial range, close to the integral scale of the underlying turbulent flow.


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