Measurements of the turbulent pressure field at the wall beneath a thick (5-inch) turbulent boundary layer produced by natural transition on a smooth surface are reported. The data include the mean-square pressure, parallel to the stream, and spatial correlation of the pressure transverse to the stream.
The root-mean-square wall pressure was 2.19 times the wall shear stress. The power spectra of the pressure were found to scale with the free-stream speed and the boundary-layer displacement thickness. A few tests with a rough surface showed that the increase in root-mean-square wall pressure was greater than the increase in wall shear stress.
The space-time correlation measurements parallel to the stream direction exhibit maxima at certain time delays corresponding to the convection of pressure-producing eddies at speeds varying from 0.56 to 0.83 times the stream speed. The lower convection speeds are measured when the spatial separation of the pressure transducers is small, or when only the pressure fluctuations at high frequencies are correlated. Higher convection speeds are observed when the spatial separation of the pressure transducers is large, or when only low frequencies are correlated. The result that low-frequency pressure fluctuations have the highest convection speed is in agreement with the measurements of Corcos (1959, 1962) in a fully turbulent tube flow. Analysis of these measurements also shows that both large- and small-scale pressure-producing eddies decay after travelling a distance proportional to their scale. More precisely, a pressure-producing eddy of large or small wavelength λ decays and vanishes after travelling a distance of approximately 6λ.
The transverse spatial correlation of the wall-pressure fluctuations was measured and compared with the longitudinal scale. Both the transverse and the longitudinal scale of the pressure fluctuations were of the order of the boundary-layer displacement thickness. The transverse and longitudinal scales of both large- and small-scale wall-pressure fluctuations were also measured and were also found to be approximately the same.