Benchmarking Velocity and Vorticity Measurement Systems on the UCLA Large-Scale Rotating Convection Device
Abstract:In order to simulate the turbulent, rapidly-rotating convection processes that occur in Earth’s core and other planetary cores, we have designed and fabricated a large-scale experimental device at UCLA. Capable of accessing a broad range of parameters (e.g., Ekman numbers between E ≃ 10−2 to 10−8 and Rayleigh numbers between Ra ≃ 104 to 1013), this device is ideal for identifying new regimes of core-style convection and for determining scaling trends that can be extrapolated to planetary conditions. In particular, this device provides the opportunity to characterize the heat transfer and velocity field behaviors needed to build and test next-generation, asymptotically accurate models of rotating convection.
Two experimental measurement systems, a Laser Doppler Velocimetry (LDV) and a Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) system, have been implemented on the UCLA rotating convection device. LDV allows for the acquisition of high resolution point velocity profiles while PIV allows for the measurement of planar velocity fields using a light sheet through the fluid layer. We present results showing the strong agreement between LDV and PIV measurements. In addition, we present results of the spin up process of a homogeneous fluid that show agreement between experimental measurements, obtained through LDV, with established theory. Our present results validate the use of the LDV and PIV systems on the UCLA rotating convection device. Thus, these two systems are now calibrated to measure the velocity and vorticity fields that characterize the turbulent, rotating core-style convection that underlies dynamo generation in planetary bodies.