Dead time effects in laser Doppler anemometry measurements

Clara Marika Velte, Preben Buchhave, William K. George

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    We present velocity power spectra computed by the so-called direct method from burst-type laser Doppler anemometer (LDA) data, both measured in a turbulent round jet and generated in a computer. Using today’s powerful computers, we have been able to study more properties of the computed spectra than was previously possible, and we noted some unexpected features of the spectra that we now attribute to the unavoidable influence of a finite measurement volume (MV). The most prominent effect, which initially triggered these studies, was the appearance of damped oscillations in the higher frequency range, starting around the cutoff frequency due to the finite size of the MV. Using computer-generated data mimicking the LDA data, these effects have previously been shown to appear due to the effect of dead time, i.e., the finite time during which the system is not able to acquire new measurements. These dead times can be traced back to the fact that the burst-mode LDA cannot measure more than one signal burst at a time. Since the dead time is approximately equal to the residence time for a particle traversing a measurement volume, we are dealing with widely varying dead times, which, however, are assumed to be measured for each data point. In addition, the detector and processor used in the current study introduce a certain amount of fixed processing and data transfer times, which further contribute to the distortion of the computed spectrum. However, we show an excellent agreement between a measured spectrum and our modeled LDA data, thereby confirming the validity of our model for the LDA burst processor.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number1836
    JournalExperiments in Fluids
    Issue number11
    Number of pages10
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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