Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Sean C. C. Bailey


Planar and stereo particle image velocimetry measurements were conducted of a wing-tip vortex decaying in free-stream turbulence in order to understand the evolution of a vortex and its decay mechanism. The vortex decayed faster in the presence of turbulence. The decay of the circulation was found to be almost entirely due to a decrease in circulation of the vortex core, caused by the relative decrease in peak tangential velocity without a corresponding increase in core radius. These events were found to be connected with the stripping of core fluid from the vortex core. The increased rate of decay of the vortex in turbulence coincided with the formation of secondary vortical structures which wrapped azimuthally around the primary vortex. It was also found that regardless of the free-stream condition, the core scaled by peak tangential velocity and core radius.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)