The boundary layer plays a critical role in aerodynamics, acting as a barrier to the transfer of momentum from the air to the flight vehicle. In-flight measurements of velocity fields in the boundary layer could be used to establish the transition point to turbulent flow. This Phase I SBIR project will investigate a novel method for imaging flow velocity based on filtered light scattering. It does not require seeding of the flow, and thus is suitable for in-flight tests. This approach can be implemented with diode lasers, which should result in size, weight and power compatible with installation aboard small aircraft, or in high-vibration environments such as hypersonic vehicles. The method could also be used as the basis for velocity measurements in wind tunnels or in combustion research.
In flight imaging of flow velocity around aircraft, including the boundary layer and flow fields in hypersonic engine intakes. Remote measurement of velocity of rocket exhaust. Imaging flow fields in wind tunnels. Imaging air and fuel mixing in combustors.
Optical diagnostics for fluid velocity are used extensively in combustion research and increasingly in atmospheric research. Imaging of vibrations in mechanical components, such as engines.