Experiments in Fluids

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 105–110 | Cite as

Real-time image processing for particle tracking velocimetry

  • Mark Kreizer
  • David Ratner
  • Alex LiberzonEmail author
Research Article


We present a novel high-speed particle tracking velocimetry (PTV) experimental system. Its novelty is due to the FPGA-based, real-time image processing “on camera”. Instead of an image, the camera transfers to the computer using a network card, only the relevant information of the identified flow tracers. Therefore, the system is ideal for the remote particle tracking systems in research and industrial applications, while the camera can be controlled and data can be transferred over any high-bandwidth network. We present the hardware and the open source software aspects of the PTV experiments. The tracking results of the new experimental system has been compared to the flow visualization and particle image velocimetry measurements. The canonical flow in the central cross section of a a cubic cavity (1:1:1 aspect ratio) in our lid-driven cavity apparatus is used for validation purposes. The downstream secondary eddy (DSE) is the sensitive portion of this flow and its size was measured with increasing Reynolds number (via increasing belt velocity). The size of DSE estimated from the flow visualization, PIV and compressed PTV is shown to agree within the experimental uncertainty of the methods applied.


Particle Image Velocimetry Flow Visualization Particle Tracking Velocimetry Increase Reynolds Number Particle Image Velocimetry Image 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors are thankful to Reut Elfassi for assistance with the experiments and technical support in the experimental setup. The research has been funded by the Israel Science Foundation and the Wolfson Family Charitable Trust.


  1. Chan KY, Stich D, Voth GA (2007) Real-time image compression for high-speed particle tracking. Rev Sci Instrum 78(2):023704, 5 ppGoogle Scholar
  2. Dracos T (ed) (1996) Three-dimensional velocity and vorticity measuring and image analysis tecniques, vol 4 of ERCOFTAC. Kluwer, DordrechtGoogle Scholar
  3. Elfassi R, Liberzon A (2008) Experimental study of lid-driven cavity flow in the Lagrangian frame of reference. In: 22 ICTAM conference, Adelaide, Australia. IUTAMGoogle Scholar
  4. Ghia G, Shin (1982) High resolutions for incompressible flow using the Navier–Stokes equations and a multigrid method. J Comput Phys 48:387–411Google Scholar
  5. Koseff J, Street R (1984a) The lid-driven cavity flow: a synthesis of qualitative and quantitative observations. ASME J Fluids Eng 106(4):390–398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Koseff J, Street R (1984b) On end-wall effects in a lid-driven cavity flow. J Fluids Eng 106:385–389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Koseff J, Street R (1984c) Visualization studies of a shear driven three-dimensional recirculating flow. J Fluid Eng 106:21–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Liberzon A, Guala M, Luthi B, Kinzelbach W, Tsinober A (2005) Turbulence in dilute polymer solutions. Phys Fluids 17(3):031707, 4 ppGoogle Scholar
  9. Lüthi B, Tsinober A, Kinzelbach W (2005) Lagrangian measurement of vorticity dynamics in turbulent flow. J Fluid Mech 528:87–118zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Mordant N, Crawford AM, Bodenschatz E (2004) Experimental Lagrangian acceleration probability density function measurement. Phys D193:245–251zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Pan F, Acrivos A (1967) Steady flows in rectangular cavities. J Fluid Mech 28:643–655CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Prasad A, Koseff J (1989) Reynolds number and end-wall effects on a lid-driven cavity flow. Phys Fluids 1(2):208–218CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Raffel M, Willert CE, Kompenhans J (1998) Particle image velocimetry: a practical guide. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  14. Ramanan N, Homsy G (1994) Linear stability of lid-driven cavity flow. Phys Fluids 6(8):2690–2701zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Schreiber R, Keller HB (1983) Driven cavity flows by efficient numerical techniques. J Comput Phys 49:310–333MathSciNetzbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Shankar PN, Deshpande MD (2000) Fluid mechanics in the driven cavity. Annu Rev Fluid Mech 32(1):93–136MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Tropea C, Yarin AL, Foss JF (eds) (2007) Springer handbook of experimental fluid mechanics. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  18. Voth GA, La-Porta A, Crawford AM, Alexander J, Bodenschatz E (2002) Measurement of fluid particle accelerations in fully developed turbulence. J Fluid Mech 469:121–160zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Voth GA, Satyanarayan K, Bodenschatz E (1998) Lagrangian acceleration measurements at large Reynolds numbers. Phys Fluids 10:2268–2280CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Turbulence Structure Laboratory, School of Mechanical EngineeringTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  2. 2.Turbulence Structure Laboratory, School of Mechanical EngineeringTel Aviv UniversityRamat AvivIsrael

Personalised recommendations