Laser imaging in fluid mechanics allows the investigation of nearly every type of flow in science and engineering: laminar, turbulent, mixing, reacting, multi-phase, high temperature, supersonic and hypersonic.

Laser imaging provides in-situ measurements on micro- and macroscales with high spatial and temporal resolution.

Owing to the complex nature of fluid flows, laser imaging for quantitative flow visualisation is the most important diagnostic tool in fluid mechanics research today.

Laser based imaging techniques such as Laser Induced Fluorescence (LIF), Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV), Raman and Rayleigh Scattering are applied to obtain quantitative images of a large number of flow variables such as density, temperature, species concentration and velocity. These image data enable the computation of derived flow quantities in fluid mechanics research including vorticity, strain rate and heat flux.

Applications of laser imaging in fluid mechanics:

  • aerodynamic tests in wind tunnels
  • species concentration, temperature and flow fields in liquid and gas flows
  • biomedical and microfluidic flows
  • thermal flows (e.g. air cooling)
  • gas turbine flows
  • multi-phase flow imaging: bubbles in liquid fluids, flows in chemical mixers


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