This paper outlines the development of an
experimental technique in quantifying supersonic jet flows, in an
attempt to avoid seeding particle problems frequently associated with
particle-image velocimetry (PIV) techniques at high Mach numbers.
Based on optical flow algorithms, the idea behind the technique
involves using high speed cameras to capture Schlieren images of the
supersonic jet shear layers, before they are subjected to an adapted
optical flow algorithm based on the Horn-Schnuck method to
determine the associated flow fields. The proposed method is capable
of offering full-field unsteady flow information with potentially
higher accuracy and resolution than existing point-measurements or
PIV techniques. Preliminary study via numerical simulations of a
circular de Laval jet nozzle successfully reveals flow and shock
structures typically associated with supersonic jet flows, which serve
as useful data for subsequent validation of the optical flow based
experimental results. For experimental technique, a Z-type Schlieren
setup is proposed with supersonic jet operated in cold mode,
stagnation pressure of 4 bar and exit Mach of 1.5. High-speed singleframe
or double-frame cameras are used to capture successive
Schlieren images. As implementation of optical flow technique to
supersonic flows remains rare, the current focus revolves around
methodology validation through synthetic images. The results of
validation test offers valuable insight into how the optical flow
algorithm can be further improved to improve robustness and
accuracy. Despite these challenges however, this supersonic flow
measurement technique may potentially offer a simpler way to
identify and quantify the fine spatial structures within the shock shear
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