MRI: Acquisition of Tomographic Particle Image Velocimetry (Tomo PIV) System for Multi-Disciplinary Research

Project: Research project

Project Details


An optical method of flow visualization, Tomographic Particle Image Velocimetry (Tomo PIV), measures instantaneous three-dimensional (3D), three-component (3C) flow velocity. This Major Research Instrumentation project supports ongoing research and education in fluid dynamics at several Penn State campuses and other nearby institutions. The project will enable new cross disciplinary collaborations among 15 researchers across the Penn State campuses and with fluid dynamics researchers at other institutions. The instrumentation provides unprecedented access to the details of the physics of turbulent flows, enabling fundamental research with a significant impact on the engineering, biology, mathematics, physics, and medical communities. The instrumentation will be incorporated into undergraduate courses and undergraduate and graduate student researchers will gain an understanding of experimental design, setup, data acquisition, and analysis using the high-tech Tomo PIV system. The researchers will provide tools for K-12 education and outreach activities, thereby increasing the public awareness in science and engineering and inspiring students to pursue advanced degrees or careers in STEM majors. The investigators will also engage students from underrepresented groups in their research.

This Tomo PIV system enables fundamental research in a variety of application areas. One study will examine the highly 3D nature of coherent structures in transitioning and turbulent boundary layers over oscillating geometries, with direct applications to flapping flight. The 3D Tomo PIV system will enable researchers to measure the complex velocity fields so that they can completely characterize the 3D behavior of vortex structures on flapping wings. Another project will conduct fundamental research to enable the development of cardiovascular devices with reduced risk of blood cell damage and clot formation. The Tomo PIV will enable researchers to better understand 3D cardiovascular structures and the influence of turbulence on cellular components and the formation of clots on surfaces. By capturing instantaneous complex flow structures, the instrumentation will enable the researchers to develop enhanced computational models to validate cardiovascular device design through improved understanding of the 3D velocity fields and shear stresses.

Effective start/end date9/15/178/31/20


  • National Science Foundation: $289,785.00


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