PIV – Particle Image Velocimetry


PIV is a method for measuring velocity fields in fluids. The process is purely visual and is therefore a non intrusive measurement method; the flow to be examined is not affected. The measurement of the velocity field is based on the determination of the displacement of particles (bubbles, seeding particles) in the flow by distance Δs within a period Δt. The shift Δs is detected by two photographic images of the particle images which are received in a very short time interval Δt. To this end the particles in the fluid are illuminated by very short laser flashes. From the displacement of the particle images in the period Δt the velocity vectors of the fluid at the position of the particles can be calculated using stochastic methods. By using two cameras with stereoscopic recording, a three-dimensional flow field can be determined, i.e., all three velocity components are then available in the measuring range.

The process is very versatile. So far the following measuring tasks, among others, have been undertaken:

  • Flow fields in the wake of ship models with and without working propellers
  • Rudder dynamics with gap flow
  • Decay of vortices on a generic wing
  • Vortex flow around bilge keels
  • Propeller wash of a thruster on a semi-submersible platform
  • Propeller wash in the cavitation tunnel
  • Flow around and wake of a submarine model with tower
  • Flow around profile sections in the cavitation tunnel

With PIV the whole velocity field is measured in every frame. From the individual recordings the transient evolution of the flow can be visualized and also a mean velocity field can be determined by averaging all recordings. The desired spatial resolution determines the size of the field of view and the achievable number of vectors in the measuring range. The largest achieved measuring range so far had an extension of approximately 400×600 mm, in this case about 6000 vectors. For this task, a stereoscopic PIV system from the company TSI is used. It has a modular design, so that all symmetrical, asymmetrical and independent arrangements of cameras and light sheet can be realized. Thus, for example, it is possible to measure the full depth of the towing tank.

Please read more about the technical specifications of this PIV system here.




Context Related References / Research Projects

[1]    Anschau, P.: Stereoskopische PIV-Messungen in Schlepprinne und Kavitationstunnel, Workshop Optische Strömungsmessverfahrenr, TU Dresden, 9. März 2011
[2]    Anschau, P.: Stereoskopische PIV-Messungen an tiefgetauchten Schleppkörpern, TSI Seminar , Potsdam, 17. Oktober 2012
[3]    Kleinwächter, A., Hellwig-Rieck, K., Ebert, E., Kostbade, R., Heinke, H.-J., Damschke, N. A.: PIV as a Novel Full-Scale Measurement Technique in cavitation Research, Fourth International symposium on Marine Propulsors, smp´15, Austin, Texas, USA, June 2015