Date of Award

Summer 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Committee Director

Colin P. Britcher

Committee Member

Robert L. Ash

Committee Member

Thomas Alberts


The Digital Bridge Thermal Anemometer (DBTA) is a new generation anemometer that uses advanced electronics and a modified half-Wheatstone bridge configuration, specifically a sensor and a shunt resistor in series. This allows the miniaturization of the anemometer and the communication between host computer and anemometer is carried out using serial or ethernet which eliminates the noise due to the use of long cables in conventional anemometer and the digital data sent to host computer is immune to electrical noise. In the new configuration the potential drop across a shunt resistor is used to control the bridge.

This thesis is confined to the anemometer used in constant temperature (CT) mode.The heat transfer relations are studied and new expressions are developed based on thenew configuration of the bridge using perturbation analysis. The theoretical plant model of a commercially available sensor and a custom built sensor are derived and quantified. The plant model is used to design a controller to control the plant in closed–loop using feedback. To test the performance of the modified sensor used with a ”generation-I” bridge and DAQ, an experiment was conducted. The controller was implemented in a user interface in LabVIEW. The test is to compare the results between a conventional TSI sensor with an IFA 300 anemometer and the setup describe above, in the wake behind a circular cylinder. Performance of the DBTA is satisfactory at low frequencies. A user interface capable of communicating with the anemometer to control the operation and collect data generated by anemometer is developed in LabVIEW.


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