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Title: Performance testing of hydrometric current meters in a wind tunnel - feasibility tests
Author: Marc de Huu Manuel Aeschbacher
Source: 2018 International Symposium on Fluid Flow Measurement
Year Published: 2018
Abstract: Hydrometric mechanical current meters are usually calibrated by towing them through still water in a tow tank. A typical length for such a tank ranges from 50 m up to several hundred meters. This means that large and dedicated infrastructures are needed for calibrating or doing performance tests of such instruments. Alternative testing methods would be welcome. At METAS, we have performed comparative tests between calibrations of mechanical current meters in a tow tank, where the medium is water, and calibrations in a wind tunnel, where the medium is air. One then has to take bearing friction into account, as well fluid dynamical effects. Similar work has already been performed by NIST 1 for liquids with various density and viscosity and by PTB 2 for gases under various pressures and temperatures. Comparing calibration data between air and water, for which density and viscosity vary by orders of magnitude, would, at first sight, seem to yield unreliable results. Even given the large difference in Reynolds number from water to air, it could be shown that a comparison, especially at higher Reynolds number, is indeed possible and usable for performance testing of mechanical current meters in a wind tunnel.

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