SmartPIV: flow velocity estimates by smartphones for education and field studies

In this paper, a smartphone application is presented that was developed to lower the barrier to introduce particle image velocimetry (PIV) in lab courses. The first benefit is that a PIV system using smartphones and a continuous wave (cw-) laser is much cheaper than a conventional system and thus much more affordable for universities. The second benefit is that the design of the menus follows that of modern camera apps, which are intuitively used. Thus, the system is much less complex and costly than typical systems, and our experience showed that students have much less reservations to work with the system and to try different parameters. Last but not least the app can be applied in the field. The relative uncertainty was shown to be less than 8%, which is reasonable for quick velocity estimates. An analysis of the computational time necessary for the data evaluation showed that with the current implementation the app is capable of providing smooth live display vector fields of the flow. This might further increase the use of modern measurement techniques in industry and education.


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