Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2016

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Carrica, Pablo M

First Committee Member

Ding, Hongtao

Second Committee Member

Eichinger, William E

Third Committee Member

Hyman, Mark

Fourth Committee Member

Kruger, Anton


This thesis presents the continued development of micro optical phase detection instrumentation capable of measuring void fraction, interfacial area density, interfacial velocity and bubble sizes and their application to measurements in a high speed boundary layer. The instrumentation consists of micro sized sapphire tipped probes tailored to measure in the two-phase flow of air bubbles in water. Probe tips with geometries intended to maximize field life while minimizing intrusiveness were designed, fabricated and characterized. The characterization revealed that the active region of a probe tip can go beyond the highly sensitive 45 degree tip. Controlling the active length of the tips can be achieved through a combination of taper angles and 45 degree tip size, with larger tips having shorter active lengths.

The full scale bubbly flow measurements were performed on a 6 m flat bottom survey boat. The aforementioned quantities were measured on bubbles naturally entrained at the bow of the boat. Probes were positioned at the bow of the boat, near the entrainment region and at the stern where the bubbles exit after having interacted with the high shear turbulent boundary layer. Experiments were conducted in fresh water, at the Coralville Lake, IA, and salt water, at the St. Andrews Bay and Gulf Coast near Panama City, FL. The results indicate that the bubbles interact significantly with the boundary layer. At low speeds, in fresh water, bubble accumulation and coalescence is evident by the presence of large bubbles at the stern. At high speeds, in both fresh and salt water, bubble breakup dominates and very small bubbles are produced near the hull of the boat. It was observed that salt water inhibits coalescence, even at low boat speeds. Void fraction was seen to increase with boat speeds above 10 knots and peaks near the wall. Bubble velocities show slip with the wall at all speeds and exhibit large RMS fluctuations, increasing near the wall.


boundary layer, bubbly ship flow, dual tip probes, optical probes, phase detection, two phase flow


xi, 137 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 132-137).


Copyright 2016 Matias Nicholas Perret