An experimental study of the flow past an airfoil in the wake of a rod shows that, at high Reynolds numbers, the vortices shed by the rod are strongly stretched and split near the leading edge and affected by small scale turbulence structures. These are shown to enhance three-dimensional effects, and to broaden the spectrum around the shedding frequency. The airfoil leading edge is the dominant acoustic source region. Post-processing tools combining Proper Orthogonal Decomposition and new vortex identification algorithms are applied to PIV measurements in order to extract the main vortical structures from snapshots, and study their variability.

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