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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2010, Article ID 316841, 13 pages
Research Article

Assessing Local Turbulence Strength from a Time Series

Department of Mathematical Sciences, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, MA 01609, USA

Received 20 January 2010; Accepted 24 March 2010

Academic Editor: Massimo Scalia

Copyright © 2010 Mayer Humi. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We study the possible link between “local turbulence strength” in a flow which is represented by a finite time series and a “chaotic invariant”, namely, the leading Lyaponuv exponent that characterizes this series. To validate a conjecture about this link, we analyze several time series of measurements taken by a plane flying at constant height in the upper troposphere. For each of these time series we estimate the leading Lyaponuv exponent which we then correlate with the structure constants for the temperature. In addition, we introduce a quantitative technique to educe the scale contents of the flow and a methodology to validate its spectrum.