A color-coded backlighted defocusing digital particle image velocimetry system
Defocusing digital particle image velocimetry (DDPIV), as a true three-dimensional (3D) measurement technique, allows for the measurement of 3D velocities within a volume. Initially designed using a single CCD and 3-pinhole mask (Willert and Gharib in Exp Fluids 12:353–358, 1992 ), it has evolved into a multi-camera system in order to overcome the limitations of image saturation due to multiple exposures of each particle. In order to still use a single camera and overcome this limitation, we have modified the original single CCD implementation by placing different color filters over each pinhole, thus color-coding each pinhole exposure, and using a 3-CCD color camera for image acquisition. Due to the pinhole mask, there exists the problem of a significant lack of illumination in a conventional lighting setup, which we have solved by backlighting the field-of-view and seeding the flow with black particles. This produces images with a white background superimposed with colored triple exposures of each particle. A color space linear transformation is used to allow for accurate identification of each pinhole exposure when the color filters’ spectrum does not match those of the 3-CCD color camera. Because the imaging is performed with a multi-element lens instead of a single-element lens, an effective pinhole separation, d e , is defined when using a pinhole mask within a multi-element lens. Calibration results of the system with and without fluid are performed and compared, and a correction of the effective pinhole separation, d e , due to refraction through multiple surfaces is proposed. Uncertainty analyses are also performed, and the technique is successfully applied to a buoyancy-driven flow, where a 3D velocity field is extracted.