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Design and Implementation of a Low-cost Particle Image Velocimetry System for Undergraduate Research and Education

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

ME Laboratories and Undergraduate Research

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.365.1 - 24.365.12



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Paper Authors


Brock Philip Ring University of Central Oklahoma

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Mr. Brock Ring is an undergraduate student studying Engineering Physics-Mechanical Systems at the University of Central Oklahoma He does work in the IT department as a Student Technology Assistant and conducts experimental fluid dynamics research under Dr. Evan Lemley

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Evan C. Lemley University of Central Oklahoma

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Design and Implementation of a Low Cost Particle Image Velocimetry System for Undergraduate Research and Education The advent of Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) has allowed experimental fluid dynamicsmeasurements to be realized in significantly higher detail than standard sensors and devices designed tomeasure pressure and volume flow rate. PIV setups can be used to determine the entire flow field in aregion of interest. These devices are quickly reshaping the field; however, the barrier to entry issignificant cost ­ often approaching $100,000. This paper focuses on the details of creating a costeffective and portable PIV system that can be used in undergraduate research and education as well asdemonstrations for K­12 education. The usefulness of PIV may be its most important aspect in the field experimentation; it is notnecessarily its most useful application in education. One difficult task in K­12 and undergraduateeducation is keeping students engaged and interested in a particular subject. The mathematical details offluid dynamics can be highly tedious, but a cost effective PIV system could change this and allow fluidmechanics to be explored at a much earlier time in education with very visual results that are also usefulfor quantifying flow fields. In this paper we describe our efforts at the University of _________ to design and implement alow­cost PIV system. The design has progressed iteratively: first as a summer project for incomingfreshmen as a part of an extant National Science Foundation (NSF) STEM Talent Expansion Program(STEP) Grant, then as a part of undergraduate research (UGR) as part of several local UGR studentgrants, then for senior capstone design projects aimed at design of systems to make qualitymeasurements to support our overall research goals. Details of design, costs, strengths, and challengesare presented. We now seek to engage K­12 students with PIV, our initial ideas regarding this directionare discussed.

Ring, B. P., & Lemley, E. C. (2014, June), Design and Implementation of a Low-cost Particle Image Velocimetry System for Undergraduate Research and Education Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20256

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