An optical method for the measurement of the instantaneous topography of the interface between two transparent fluids, named free-surface synthetic Schlieren (FS-SS), is characterised. This method is based on the analysis of the refracted image of a random dot pattern visualized through the interface. The apparent displacement field between the refracted image and a reference image obtained when the surface is flat is determined using a digital image correlation (DIC) algorithm. A numerical integration of this displacement field, based on a least square inversion of the gradient operator, is used for the reconstruction of the instantaneous surface height, allowing for an excellent spatial resolution with a low computational cost. The main limitation of the method, namely the ray crossing (caustics) due to strong curvature and/or large surface-pattern distance, is discussed. Validation experiments using a transparent solid model with a wavy surface or plane waves at a water–air interface are presented, and some additional time-resolved measurements of circular waves generated by a water drop impact are discussed.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 13, 2009
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