Laszlo Szocs, 2013, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

As an intern in Professor Alexander Smits laboratory, I participated in a study of the spatial and temporal dynamics of coherent structures within the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) with the aim of improving current climate models. Using the low-speed suction tunnel at Gas Dynamics Laboratory at the Princeton University Forrestal Campus, we attempted to produce a stably stratified turbulent boundary layer (the best way to model the atmospheric boundary layer) in our wind tunnel in order to look at coherent structures (vortices, hairpins) and study its mechanics. Particle image velocimetry (PIV) and hot-wire anemometry were used to gather data about the flow. Combined with pitot-static probe data, a full 2 dimensional vector field was produced for the flow in the stream-wise direction. Analysis of these vector fields was then carried out using MATLAB programs to look for said structures. I assisted in all parts of the research: setting up the experiment, calibrating equipment, operating the wind tunnel, writing code, and carrying out analysis.