Peak-locking error reduction by birefringent optical diffusers

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The use of optical diffusers for the reduction of peak-locking errors in particle image velocimetry is investigated. The working principle of the optical diffusers is based on the concept of birefringence, where the incoming rays are subject to different deflections depending on the light direction and polarization. The performances of the diffusers are assessed via wind tunnel measurements in uniform flow and wall-bounded turbulence. Comparison with best-practice image defocusing is also conducted. It is found that the optical diffusers yield an increase of the particle image diameter up to 10m in the sensor plane. Comparison with reference measurements showed a reduction of both random and systematic errors by a factor of 3, even at low imaging signal-to-noise ratio.

Original languageEnglish
Article number025202
Number of pages9
JournalMeasurement Science and Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • birefringence
  • optical diffusers
  • particle image velocimetry
  • peak locking
  • random and bias errors, image defocussing


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