Identification and analysis of the meandering of a fin-tip vortex using Proper Orthogonal Decomposition (POD)

Yunpeng Xue*, Chetan Kumar, Soon-Kong Lee, Matteo Giacobello, Peter Manovski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
105 Downloads (Pure)


The meandering of a vortex exists in a broad range of engineering applications and can lead to flow instability and other undesirable characteristics. Compared to a static vortex, measurement of a meandering vortex can result in a ‘smeared’ mean-flow field and increased levels of turbulence at the centre of the vortex. A case study was performed here on the meandering nature of a fin-tip vortex generated by a manoeuvring submarine. From stereoscopic particle image velocimetry (SPIV) measurements, it is possible to remove the meandering by shifting each instantaneous velocity field so as to produce a common centre for the vortex. In this paper, a snapshot Proper Orthogonal Decomposition (POD) technique is used to capture the dominant large-scale coherent structures (from inspection of eigenvalue or energy distributions) and to improve vortex centre identification. The POD reconstructed velocity field using only the most energetic modes enabled the coherent structures of the flow to be clearly visualised, providing improved identification of the vortex centre and subsequent evaluation of the meandering effect on the turbulent statistics. The present findings suggest that the vortex meandering only has a small impact on the ensemble-averaged resultant velocity, while contributing up to a maximum of 28% for the fluctuating component. The meandering correction also leads to an overall decrease of turbulence intensity in the peak fluctuating region of the vortex core.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108556
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow
Early online date13 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • Meandering correction
  • Proper Orthogonal Decomposition
  • SPIV
  • Vortex meandering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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