Experiments in Fluids

, 59:2 | Cite as

Impact of mismatched and misaligned laser light sheet profiles on PIV performance

  • K. Grayson
  • C. M. de Silva
  • N. Hutchins
  • I. Marusic
Research Article


The effect of mismatched or misaligned laser light sheet profiles on the quality of particle image velocimetry (PIV) results is considered in this study. Light sheet profiles with differing widths, shapes, or alignment can reduce the correlation between PIV images and increase experimental errors. Systematic PIV simulations isolate these behaviours to assess the sensitivity and implications of light sheet mismatch on measurements. The simulations in this work use flow fields from a turbulent boundary layer; however, the behaviours and impacts of laser profile mismatch are highly relevant to any fluid flow or PIV application. Experimental measurements from a turbulent boundary layer facility are incorporated, as well as additional simulations matched to experimental image characteristics, to validate the synthetic image analysis. Experimental laser profiles are captured using a modular laser profiling camera, designed to quantify the distribution of laser light sheet intensities and inform any corrective adjustments to an experimental configuration. Results suggest that an offset of just 1.35 standard deviations in the Gaussian light sheet intensity distributions can cause a 40% reduction in the average correlation coefficient and a 45% increase in spurious vectors. Errors in measured flow statistics are also amplified when two successive laser profiles are no longer well matched in alignment or intensity distribution. Consequently, an awareness of how laser light sheet overlap influences PIV results can guide faster setup of an experiment, as well as achieve superior experimental measurements.



The authors wish to thank the Australian Research Council and the Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship for their financial support of this research.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia

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