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EUROPIV: A cooperative action to apply Particle Image Velocimetry to problems of industrial interest

1) Considerable progress has been made during the last twenty years in the field of aerodynamics. Although many problems are still to be solved in turbulent flows, the mean flow characteristics can be quite accurately defined by the combined use of computer codes and wind tunnel experiments. To improve their aircraft and engines efficiently, the manufacturers have to look more and more to the 3D, unsteady aspects of the flow in some specific sub-domain or in particular flight or working configurations. Complex viscous flows, separated flows, coherent structures in turbulence and transition phenomena become of primary importance in such situations. In these fields, computer simulations are still limited and much understanding has to be gained from experiments, both on the design and on the code validation point of view. An experimental approach to such flows and phenomena needs non-intrusive measurement methods, able to give a quantitative description of the instantaneous flow characteristics in a field rather than at one single point. Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) has been developed for that purpose and gives access to the most primary variable: the velocity field. This method has been demonstrated at a laboratory scale by several teams in Europe and in the USA. The aim of the EUROPIV project was first to reinforce the knowledge of the method by taking advantage of the complementary research and development work performed by the participating teams. This was made possible by the extension of a previous activity in the frame of GARTEUR, to a broader European co-operation. The second objective was to prepare the future by studying the possible extensions of the present state of the art to access the full three components of the instantaneous velocity field in a plane. The final and most crucial objective was to demonstrate the applicability of the method to problems of industrial interest. This was done at full scale for aerodynamic testing in industrial wind tunnels and at laboratory scale for turbomachinery.

In order to achieve the targeted objectives, the research program was divided into four tasks.

a critical evaluation of the existing know-how by use of a travelling test tube experiment and a network accessible database.

a further development of the method, on some specific aspects (large flow seeding and video recording), in order to increase the efficiency and quality of the measurements

a study of ways to extend the method to measure the full three components of the instantaneous velocity field in a plane through stereoscopic and holographic experiments in both aerodynamics and turbomachinery situations.

a full scale test in an industrial wind tunnel and a comparison of the results with numerical simulations.


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