We report a combined experimental and theoretical investigation of the influence of spatial non-uniformities of the refractive index on the accuracy of laser Doppler anemometry (LDA) measurements in transparent fluids. One LDA beam is guided through heated air of a thermal boundary layer near a heated vertical flat plate. It is found that the hot air is deflecting the beam because of a modification of the refractive index n in the fluid. This deflection causes three effects: (1) spatial displacement of beam intersection, (2) waist mismatch in the measurement volume and (3) variation in interference fringe distance. With the help of a rotating disk calibration system the resulting displacement of the LDA measurement volume and the Doppler frequency variation is systematically studied at different temperatures. Using a simple model of beam propagation under the influence of well-defined temperature inhomogeneities, the displacement of measurement volume and change in Doppler frequency are calculated and are found to be in agreement with the experimental observations. The results provide a rational framework for an assessment of the accuracy of LDA data in arbitrary transparent fluids with non-uniform refractive index.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 6, 2003
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