Imaging unsteady three-dimensional transport phenomena
Careful and continuous measurements of flow, heat and mass transfer are required in quite a few contexts. Using appropriate light sources, it is possible to map velocity, temperature, and species concentration over a cross-section and as a function of time. Image formation in optical measurements may rely on scattering of radiation from particles. Alternatively, if the region of interest is transparent, refractive index would be a field variable and beam bending effects can be used to extract information about temperature and concentration of solutes dissolved in liquids. Time-lapsed images of light intensity can be used to determine fluid velocity. Though used originally for flow visualization, optical imaging has now emerged as a powerful tool for quantitative measurements. Optical methods that utilize the dependence of refractive index on concentration and temperature can be configured in many different ways. Three available routes considered are interferometry, schlieren imaging, and shadowgraph. Images recorded in these configurations can be analysed to yield time sequences of three-dimensional distributions of the transported variables. Optical methods are non-intrusive, inertia-free and can image cross-sections of the experimental apparatus. The image data can be jointly analysed with the physical laws governing transport and principles of image formation. Hence, with the experiment suitably carried out, three-dimensional physical domains with unsteady processes can be accommodated. Optical methods promise to breach the holy grail of measurements by extracting unsteady three-dimensional data in applications related to transport phenomena.
Volume 93 | Issue 6
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