AbstractAn innovative measurement technique is proposed for investigating shear stress at sandy bottoms. This technique is based on the adoption of a ferrofluidic sensor and of an optical readout strategy. An experimental campaign is carried out for evaluating its performance. Experiments differ for the ferrofluidic sensor configuration (difference in the magnetic field) and for the bottom configurations (fixed bed or sandy bed). Calibration of the ferrofluidic sensor for the range of the investigated hydraulic condition and of the controlling magnetic field is presented. The ferrofluidic technique is promising when applied at sandy bottoms, as neither adhesion processes between sand grains and ferrofluid or influence of impacts of grains on the measurement are observed. In particular, the preliminary measure performed indicated that the ferrofluidic sensor is capable of sensing the different bed roughness.
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