Experiments in Fluids

, Volume 48, Issue 5, pp 875–887 | Cite as

Spatially adaptive PIV interrogation based on data ensemble

  • Raf Theunissen
  • Fulvio Scarano
  • Michel L. Riethmuller
Research Article


This paper proposes a specific application of the approach recently proposed by the authors to achieve an autonomous and robust adaptive interrogation method for PIV data sets with the focus on the determination of mean velocity fields. Under circumstances such as suboptimal flow seeding distribution and large variations in the velocity field properties, neither multigrid techniques nor adaptive interrogation with criteria based on instantaneous conditions offer enough robustness for the flow field analysis. A method based on the data ensemble to select the adaptive interrogation parameters, namely, the window size, aspect ratio, orientation, and overlap factor is followed in this study. Interrogation windows are sized, shaped and spatially distributed on the basis of the average seeding density and the gradient of the velocity vector field. Compared to the instantaneous approach, the ensemble-based criterion adapts the windows in a more robust way especially for the implementation of non-isotropic windows (stretching and orientation), which yields a higher spatial resolution. If the procedure is applied recursively, the number of correlation samples can be optimized to satisfy a prescribed level of window overlap ratio. The relevance and applicability of the method are illustrated by an application to a shock-wave-boundary layer interaction problem. Furthermore, the application to a transonic airfoil wake verifies by means of a dual-resolution experiment that the spatial resolution in the wake can be increased by using non-isotropic interrogation windows.


Window Size Interrogation Window Layer Interaction Instantaneous Velocity Field Correlation Window 
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 presented work is supported by the Dutch Technology Fundation STW, under the scheme “Innovation Impulse”, VIDI grant DLR.6189 and by Instituut voor de aanmoediging van innovatie door Wetenschap & Technologie in Vlaanderen (IWT, SBO project nr. 040092).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raf Theunissen
    • 1
  • Fulvio Scarano
    • 2
  • Michel L. Riethmuller
    • 1
  1. 1.von Karman Institute for Fluid DynamicsRhode-St-GenèseBelgium
  2. 2.Faculty of Aerospace Engineering-AerodynamicsDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands

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