A shear stress sensor for measuring fluid wall shear stress on a test surface is provided. The wall shear stress sensor is comprised of an active sensing surface and a sensor body. An elastic mechanism mounted between the active sensing surface and the sensor body allows movement between the active sensing surface and the sensor body. A driving mechanism forces the shear stress sensor to oscillate. A measuring mechanism measures displacement of the active sensing surface relative to the sensor body. The sensor may be operated under periodic excitation where changes in the nature of the fluid properties or the fluid flow over the sensor measurably changes the amplitude or phase of the motion of the active sensing surface, or changes the force and power required from a control system in order to maintain constant motion. The device may be operated under non-periodic excitation where changes in the nature of the fluid properties or the fluid flow over the sensor change the transient motion of the active sensor surface or change the force and power required from a control system to maintain a specified transient motion of the active sensor surface.
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION
This invention was made with U.S. Government support under Contract No. DE-FC02-91ER75680 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The U.S. Government has certain rights in this invention.