Stereo Particle Image velocimetry data was collected over high aspect ratio flexible cylinders (L/a = 1.5 to 3 × 105) to evaluate the axial development of the turbulent boundary layer where the boundary layer thickness becomes significantly larger than the cylinder diameter (δ/a>>1). The flexible cylinders are approximately neutrally buoyant and have an initial length of 152 m and radii of 0.45 mm and 1.25 mm. The cylinders were towed at speeds ranging from 3.8 to 15.4 m/sec in the David Taylor Model Basin. The analysis of the SPIV data required a several step procedure to evaluate the cylinder boundary flow. First, the characterization of the flow field from the towing strut is required. This evaluation provides the residual mean velocities and turbulence levels caused by the towing hardware at each speed and axial location. These values, called tare values, are necessary for comparing to the cylinder flow results. Second, the cylinder flow fields are averaged together and the averaged tare fields are subtracted out to remove strut-induced ambient flow effects. Prior to averaging, the cylinder flow fields are shifted to collocate the cylinder within the field. Since the boundary layer develops slowly, all planes of data occurring within each 10 meter increment of the cylinder length are averaged together to produce the mean boundary layer flow. Corresponding fields from multiple runs executed using the same experimental parameters are also averaged. This flow is analyzed to evaluate the level of axisymmetry in the data and determine if small changes in cylinder angle affect the mean flow development. With axisymmetry verified, the boundary flow is further averaged azimuthally around the cylinder to produce mean boundary layer profiles. Finally, the fluctuating velocity levels are evaluated for the flow with the cylinder and compared to the fluctuating velocity levels in the tare data. This paper will first discuss the data analysis techniques for the tare data and the averaging methods implemented. Second, the data analysis considerations will be presented for the cylinder data and the averaging and cylinder tracking techniques. These results are used to extract relevant boundary layer parameters including δ, δ* and θ. Combining these results with wall shear and momentum thickness values extracted from averaged cylinder drag data, the boundary layer can be well characterized.

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