The interaction of a Kármán vortex street with an elliptical edge is investigated experimentally. Basic types of interaction, as a function of scale and transverse displacement of the incident vortex street, are revealed using flow visualization. Unsteady pressure fields induced by these interactions are measured by a phase-averaging technique and correlated with the visualized flow patterns for basic classes of interactions.
For a generic vortex–edge interaction, measurements of the phase-averaged velocity field allow construction of streamlines and vorticity contours showing the details of the interaction, including distortion of the vortical structures near the edge. The pressure field is calculated from the measured velocity field and interpreted in relation to the vortical structures.
Simulation of flow visualization using the measured velocity field demonstrates possible misinterpretations related to the underlying vorticity field.