The "schlieren PIV" technique combines schlieren or shadowgraph optics with particle image velocimetry (PIV) equipment to measure the velocities of turbulent eddies in flows with sufficiently strong changes of the refractive index without actual particle seeding. Prior work on this technique used direct laser illumination that produced inadequate schlieren image quality due to coherent artifact noise and other problems. By way of a simple equipment modification, we show the white-light emission of a laser-induced air or argon breakdown to be an improved light source for schlieren and shadowgraph PIV. The Nd:YAG illumination used in standard PIV is converted to a white-light pulse by this means. High-quality schlieren images are obtained and measurements in a helium jet using this new approach compare well with previous data. The method is especially applicable to high-speed flows requiring time delays of 5 µs or less between the images of a PIV pair.
High-speed imaging and cinematography are important in research on explosions, firearms, and homeland security. Much can be learned from imaging the motion of shock waves generated by such explosive events. However, the required optical equipment is generally not available for such research due to the small aperture and delicacy of the optics and the expense and expertise required to implement high-speed optical methods. For example, previous aircraft hardening experiments involving explosions aboard full-scale aircraft lacked optical shock imaging, even though such imaging is the principal tool of explosion and shock wave research. Here, experiments are reported using the Penn State Full-Scale Schlieren System, a lens-and-grid-type optical system with a very large field-of-view. High-speed images are captured by photography using an electronic flash and by a new high-speed digital video camera. These experiments cover a field-of-view of 2x3 m at frame rates up to 30 kHz. Our previous high-speed schlieren cinematography experiments on aircraft hardening used a traditional drum camera and photographic film. A stark contrast in utility is found between that technology and the all-digital high-speed videography featured in this paper.
Electronic noses and similar sensors show promise for detecting buried landmines through the explosive trace signals they emit. A key step in this detection is the sampler or sniffer, which acquires the airborne trace signal and presents it to the detector. Practicality demands no physical contact with the ground. Further, both airborne particulates and molecular traces must be sampled. Given a complicated minefield terrain and microclimate, this becomes a daunting chore. Our prior research on canine olfactory aerodynamics revealed several ways that evolution has dealt with such problems: 1) proximity of the sniffer to the scent source is important, 2) avoid exhaling back into the scent source, 3) use an aerodynamic collar on the sniffer inlet, 4) use auxiliary airjets to stir up surface particles, and 5) manage the 'impedance mismatch' between sniffer and sensor airflows carefully. Unfortunately, even basic data on aerodynamic sniffer performance as a function of inlet-tube and scent-source diameters, standoff distance, etc., have not been previously obtained. A laboratory-prototype sniffer was thus developed to provide guidance for landmine trace detectors. Initial experiments with this device are the subject of this paper. For example, a spike in the trace signal is observed upon starting the sniffer airflow, apparently due to rapid depletion of the available signal-laden air. Further, shielding the sniffer from disruptive ambient airflows arises as a key issue in sampling efficiency.
The walk-through metal-detection portal is a paradigm of non-intrusive passenger screening in aviation security. Modern explosive detection portals based on this paradigm will soon appear in airports. This paper suggests that the airborne trace detection technology developed for that purpose can also be adapted to human chemical and biological contamination. The waste heat of the human body produces a rising warm-air sheath of 50-80 liters/sec known as the human thermal plume. Contained within this plume are hundreds of bioeffluents from perspiration and breath, and millions of skin flakes. Since early medicine, the airborne human scent was used in the diagnosis of disease. Recent examples also include toxicity and substance abuse, but this approach has never been quantified. The appearance of new bioeffluents or subtle changes in the steady-state may signal the onset of a chemical/biological attack. Portal sampling of the human thermal plume is suggested, followed by a pre-concentration step and the detection of the attacking agent or the early human response. The ability to detect nanogram levels of explosive trace contamination this way was already demonstrated. Key advantages of the portal approach are its rapidity and non-intrusiveness, and the advantage that it does not require the traditional bodily fluid or tissue sampling.
Conference Committee Involvement (1)
High-Speed Photography and Photonics 2004
20 September 2004 | Alexandria, Virginia, United States