Velocity measurements in the vicinity of an obstacle remain very complicated even when optical diagnostics based on displacement of micrometric tracers are considered. In the present paper, digital in-line holography with a divergent beam is proposed to measure the three-dimensional (3D) velocity vector fields in a turbulent boundary layer and, in particular, on the near wall region of a wind tunnel. The seeding droplets (1–5 μm) transported by a turbulent airflow are illuminated by a couple of laser pulses coming from a fiber coupled laser diode. These double exposure holograms are then recorded through a transparent glass reticle specially designed for this application with an accurate surface positioning combined with a particularly attractive in situ calibration method of the investigation volume (less than ). The method used for processing holograms recorded in such a configuration is detailed. Our original calibration procedure and the assessment of its accuracy are presented. Our holographic probe has been tested in a wind tunnel for a large range of different velocities. Then 3D velocity vector fields extracted from more than 13000 holograms are analyzed. Statistical results show the capability of our approach to access in a turbulent boundary layer. In particular, it leads to relevant measurements for fluid mechanics such as velocity fluctuation and the shear stress in the very close vicinity of a wall.
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