Assessment of PIV-based analysis of water entry problems through synthetic numerical datasets

Andrea L. Facci, Riccardo Panciroli, Stefano Ubertini, Maurizio Porfiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The phenomenon of hull-slamming, that is, the sudden impact of a solid body on the water surface, is critical in the design of naval structures. Thus, the development and validation of schemes to predict the slamming load and elucidate energy exchange during water entry are of fundamental importance in a wide range of engineering applications. Recent studies have demonstrated the possibility of using direct flow measurements from particle image velocimetry (PIV) to investigate the kinetics of water entry. Specifically, these efforts have contributed a first characterization of the hydrodynamic loading on impacting wedges and of the energy imparted to the water pile-up and the spray jets. Here, we seek to provide a thorough assessment of such a PIV-based approach through synthetic datasets, in which PIV parameters, such as the camera acquisition rate and the size of the interrogation area, are systematically varied, without experimental confounds. We implement a direct computational framework to study the two-dimensional flow physics generated during the water entry of a rigid wedge. Water and air are treated as immiscible phases and their relative motion is utilized to track the free surface dynamics. Our results show that the PIV-based methodology allows for an accurate reconstruction of the pressure field from the measured velocity field, except for early stages of the impact and for a small region close to the free surface. We also demonstrate that the reconstruction is only marginally affected by the spatial resolution, while a sufficiently high acquisition frequency is required to correctly predict the pressure field in the pile-up region. The proposed computational framework can also find application in the analysis of less studied aspects of water entry problems, such as cycling loading, flow transitions and separation, and formation of spray jets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)484-500
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Fluids and Structures
StatePublished - May 1 2015


  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Hull slamming
  • Particle image velocimetry
  • Pressure reconstruction
  • Water entry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering


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