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Mechanical Engineering|College of Engineering and Applied Science

Vortex Dynamics Lab

The research objective of the VDL is the study of vortex ring dynamics, including such phenomena as leapfrogging of ring pairs and jet formation from the breakdown of trains of vortex rings. These phenomena are studied using flow visualization and particle image velocimetry. The primary facility in the VDL is a 1200 gallon water tank with optical access on all sides. The vortex ring generator is a piston-cylinder apparatus driven with a stepper motor/linear slide combination. The stepper motor is computer-controlled, and the stepper driver software permits a wide range of piston trajectories to be realized. Current research in the VDL is supported by AFOSR.

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