On-road turbulence

Scott Wordley, Jeff Saunders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


The turbulent environment experienced by ground vehicles is currently not well understood. Due to this, and other historical reasons, the aerodynamic testing of automobiles is usually conducted in extremely low-turbulence wind tunnels (<1%), which is in clear contradiction with the small amount of wind data available to date for these heights. This work presents a series of turbulence measurements made in a range of different on-road terrains and traffic conditions. This data was captured using multi-hole pressure probes mounted to the front of a test vehicle traveling at a road speed of 100 km/h. Analysis of the data shows how both the turbulence intensities and turbulent length scales are modified by terrain type, road side obstacles and the upstream wakes of other moving vehicles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-360
Number of pages20
JournalSAE International Journal of Passenger Cars: Electronic and Electrical Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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