A novel vibrating ribbon apparatus is described that is active over the full span of a wind tunnel test section. The spanwise uniformity of the vibration amplitude and other ribbon characteristics are considered in detail. The height of each end of the ribbon above the test plate can be adjusted in situ, while the ribbon is vibrating and with flow in the test section, thereby allowing the response of the layer to be easily tuned. The growth of the wave amplitude downstream of the ribbon is shown to agree with numerical predictions. However, two or three wavelengths of development are required before the wave amplitude follows the predicted growth. The flow around an inactive ribbon is examined using a commercial CFD solver and features such as a miniature separation bubble just downstream of the ribbon are revealed. The distance required for the mean flow to recover from the disturbance introduced by the ribbon is greater when the ribbon is located further from the wall. The mean flow recovers to form a boundary layer that is slightly thicker than the undisturbed flow. Experimental measurements indicate that the distance required for the wave motions to follow predicted behavior is about 4 or 5 times larger than distance for recovery of the mean flow.

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