Whole-field density measurements by digital image correlation

Alexander M. van Oers*, Roeland de Kat, Leo R. M. Maas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


A novel application of Synthetic Schlieren in a laboratory set-up yields a quantitative measurement of the density field of two-dimensional, stratified or homogeneous, transparent fluids in a laboratory set-up using a single camera. This application obtains local values of the density without the need for tomographic reconstruction algorithms that require images taken from different directions through the fluid nor does the application require regularization. This is achieved by placing the camera at a large oblique angle with respect to the experimental set-up. This step is motivated by a fallacy observed when applying ray tracing in a classical configuration, in which the camera’s optical axis is perpendicular to the flat surface of a fluid container. The application is illustrated by the optical determination of static density fields of linearly and nonlinearly stratified fluids, as well as of multi-layered fluids. The application is validated by comparing with density profiles obtained from probe measurements of conductivity and temperature. Our application yields similar density and density gradient profiles as the probe while also providing a whole-field measurement without disturbing the fluid, and allowing the determination of dynamical density fields.

Original languageEnglish
Article number175
Number of pages12
JournalExperiments in Fluids
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


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