Aero-optical distortion effects on the accuracy of particle image velocimetry (PIV) are investigated. When the illuminated particles are observed through a medium that is optically inhomogeneous due to flow compressibility, the resulting particle image pattern is subjected to deformation and blur. In relation to PIV two forms of error can be identified: position error and velocity error. In this paper a model is presented that describes these errors and particle image blur in relation to the refractive index field of the flow. In the case of 2D flows the model equations can be simplified and, furthermore, the background oriented schlieren technique (BOS) can be applied as a means to assess and correct for the optical error in PIV. The model describing the optical distortion is validated by both computer simulation and real experiments of 2D flows. Two flow features are considered: one with optical distortion normal to the velocity (shear layer) and one with optical distortion in the direction of the flow (expansion fan). Both simulation and experiments demonstrate that the major source for the velocity error is the second derivative of the refractive index in the direction of the velocity vector. The aero-optical distortion effect is less critical for shearing interfaces in comparison with compression/expansion fronts, the most critical case being represented by shock waves. Based on the results from the simulated experiments, it is concluded that for the 2D flow case the BOS method allows a measurement of the mean velocity error in PIV and can reduce it to a large extent.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 13, 2005
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