Experiments in Fluids

, Volume 41, Issue 6, pp 933–947

Tomographic particle image velocimetry


    • Department of Aerospace EngineeringDelft University of Technology
  • F. Scarano
    • Department of Aerospace EngineeringDelft University of Technology
  • B. Wieneke
    • LaVision GmbH
  • B. W. van Oudheusden
    • Department of Aerospace EngineeringDelft University of Technology
Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00348-006-0212-z

Cite this article as:
Elsinga, G.E., Scarano, F., Wieneke, B. et al. Exp Fluids (2006) 41: 933. doi:10.1007/s00348-006-0212-z


This paper describes the principles of a novel 3D PIV system based on the illumination, recording and reconstruction of tracer particles within a 3D measurement volume. The technique makes use of several simultaneous views of the illuminated particles and their 3D reconstruction as a light intensity distribution by means of optical tomography. The technique is therefore referred to as tomographic particle image velocimetry (tomographic-PIV). The reconstruction is performed with the MART algorithm, yielding a 3D array of light intensity discretized over voxels. The reconstructed tomogram pair is then analyzed by means of 3D cross-correlation with an iterative multigrid volume deformation technique, returning the three-component velocity vector distribution over the measurement volume. The principles and details of the tomographic algorithm are discussed and a parametric study is carried out by means of a computer-simulated tomographic-PIV procedure. The study focuses on the accuracy of the light intensity field reconstruction process. The simulation also identifies the most important parameters governing the experimental method and the tomographic algorithm parameters, showing their effect on the reconstruction accuracy. A computer simulated experiment of a 3D particle motion field describing a vortex ring demonstrates the capability and potential of the proposed system with four cameras. The capability of the technique in real experimental conditions is assessed with the measurement of the turbulent flow in the near wake of a circular cylinder at Reynolds 2,700.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006