Coaxial volumetric velocimetry

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This study describes the working principles of the coaxial volumetric velocimeter (CVV) for wind tunnel measurements. The measurement system is derived from the concept of tomographic PIV in combination with recent developments of Lagrangian particle tracking. The main characteristic of the CVV is its small tomographic aperture and the coaxial arrangement between the illumination and imaging directions. The system consists of a multi-camera arrangement subtending only few degrees solid angle and a long focal depth. Contrary to established PIV practice, laser illumination is provided along the same direction as that of the camera views, reducing the optical access requirements to a single viewing direction. The laser light is expanded to illuminate the full field of view of the cameras. Such illumination and imaging conditions along a deep measurement volume dictate the use of tracer particles with a large scattering area. In the present work, helium-filled soap bubbles are used. The fundamental principles of the CVV in terms of dynamic velocity and spatial range are discussed. Maximum particle image density is shown to limit tracer particle seeding concentration and instantaneous spatial resolution. Time-averaged flow fields can be obtained at high spatial resolution by ensemble averaging. The use of the CVV for time-averaged measurements is demonstrated in two wind tunnel experiments. After comparing the CVV measurements with the potential flow in front of a sphere, the near-surface flow around a complex wind tunnel model of a cyclist is measured. The measurements yield the volumetric time-averaged velocity and vorticity field. The measurements of the streamlines in proximity of the surface give an indication of the skin-friction lines pattern, which is of use in the interpretation of the surface flow topology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number065201
Number of pages15
JournalMeasurement Science and Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2018


  • CVV
  • HFSB
  • optical access
  • particle tracking
  • PIV
  • tomographic PIV
  • volumetric measurement

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