Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics


Seong-Young Lee


For a fluid dynamics experimental flow measurement technique, particle image velocimetry (PIV) provides significant advantages over other measurement techniques in its field. In contrast to temperature and pressure based probe measurements or other laser diagnostic techniques including laser Doppler velocimetry (LDV) and phase Doppler particle analysis (PDPA), PIV is unique due to its whole field measurement capability, non-intrusive nature, and ability to collect a vast amount of experimental data in a short time frame providing both quantitative and qualitative insight. These properties make PIV a desirable measurement technique for studies encompassing a broad range of fluid dynamics applications. However, as an optical measurement technique, PIV also requires a substantial technical understanding and application experience to acquire consistent, reliable results.

Both a technical understanding of particle image velocimetry and practical application experience are gained by applying a planar PIV system at Michigan Technological University’s Combustion Science Exploration Laboratory (CSEL) and Alternative Fuels Combustion Laboratory (AFCL). Here a PIV system was applied to non-reacting and reacting gaseous environments to make two component planar PIV as well as three component stereographic PIV flow field velocity measurements in conjunction with chemiluminescence imaging in the case of reacting flows.

This thesis outlines near surface flow field characteristics in a tumble strip lined channel, three component velocity profiles of non-reacting and reacting swirled flow in a swirl stabilized lean condition premixed/prevaporized-fuel model gas turbine combustor operating on methane at 5-7 kW, and two component planar PIV measurements characterizing the AFCL’s 1.1 liter closed combustion chamber under dual fan driven turbulent mixing flow.