Aerodynamic Testing: PIV in Wind Tunnels

Aerodynamic testing is often the key to success in car racing and also for transport vehicles to achieve the best fuel economy. Multidimensional and often time-resolved Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) measurements are applied in wind tunnels to balance aerodynamic shape with automotive styling and to reduce wind noise (aeroacoustics).
LaVision’s FlowMaster PIV systems provide real-time and accurate flow field measurements, support remote measurement control including flow field scanning in all directions and data synchronization with other wind tunnel test parameters. This guarantees short development times avoiding costly wind tunnel down-times.


Time-Resolved 3D Flow Field Imaging in a Wind Tunnel for Full Scale Automotive Testing

Time-resolved 3D flow fields have been successfully measured behind a serial car in a large wind tunnel at Volkswagen. The field-of-view was 2 m x 1.6 m with a light sheet thickness of 0.2 m. The air flow was seeded with 0.3 mm in diameter Helium-filled soap bubbles applying seeding rates of more than 2 million bubbles per second operating 60 seeding nozzles.

Four high-speed cameras recorded the 3D wake flow at wind speeds of 60 km/h and 120 km/h, respectively. A high-speed laser was used for illumination. LaVision’s Shake-the-Box time-resolved 3D-PTV technique was applied to calculate the time-resolved 3D flow fields.

Stereo PIV system on a 3-axis traverse system
System Features
complete system integration in the wind tunnel infrastructure
  • High level of automation – ease of use

most accurate PIV software combined with fast processing

  • GPU processing for real time results
  • Adaptive PIV for ease of use combined with highest precision
  • Unique calibration techniques

system expansion for increased measurement capabilities

  • Deformation and strain measurements
  • Fluid-Structure Interaction
  • 3D-PIV, BOS

extensive PIV and wind tunnel knowledge including F1-tunnels

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