Improvements on digital inline holographic PTV for 3D wall-bounded turbulent flow measurements

Mostafa Toloui, Kevin Mallery, Jiarong Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Three-dimensional (3D) particle image velocimetry (PIV) and particle tracking velocimetry (PTV) provide the most comprehensive flow information for unraveling the physical phenomena in a wide range of fluid problems, from microfluidics to wall-bounded turbulent flows. Compared with other 3D PIV techniques, such as tomographic PIV and defocusing PIV, the digital inline holographic PTV (DIH-PTV) provides 3D flow measurement solution with high spatial resolution, low cost optical setup, and easy alignment and calibration. Despite these advantages, DIH-PTV suffers from major limitations including poor longitudinal resolution, human intervention (i.e. requirement for manually determined tuning parameters during tracer field reconstruction and extraction), limited tracer concentration, small sampling volume and expensive computations, limiting its broad use for 3D flow measurements. In this study, we present our latest developments on minimizing these challenges, which enables high-fidelity DIH-PTV implementation to larger sampling volumes with significantly higher particle seeding densities suitable for wall-bounded turbulent flow measurements. The improvements include: (1) adjustable window thresholding; (2) multi-pass 3D tracking; (3) automatic wall localization; and (4) continuity-based out-of-plane velocity component computation. The accuracy of the proposed DIH-PTV method is validated with conventional 2D PIV and double-view holographic PTV measurements in smooth-wall turbulent channel flow experiments. The capability of the technique in characterization of wall-bounded turbulence is further demonstrated through its application to flow measurements for smooth- and rough-wall turbulent channel flows. In these experiments, 3D velocity fields are measured within sampling volumes of 14.7 × 50.0 × 14.4 mm3 (covering the entire depth of the channel) with a velocity resolution of <1.1 mm/vector. Overall, the presented DIH-PTV method and measurements highlight the applicability of DIH-PTV to obtain 3D characterization of the turbulent structures with velocity spatial resolution and within sampling volume sizes comparable to other the-state-of-the-art 3D whole-field flow measurement techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number044009
JournalMeasurement Science and Technology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the startup package of Jiarong Hong from the University of Minnesota, the MnDrive and Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowships of Mostafa Toloui from the University of Minnesota as well as the NSF Award (NSF-IIS- 1427014) that was used to fund the Research Assistantship of Kevin Mallery

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 IOP Publishing Ltd.


  • 3D flow measurement
  • digital inline holography
  • particle tracking
  • rough-wall
  • turbulent flow


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