SBIR Phase II: Educational Particle Image Velocimetry Suites

Period of Performance: 01/01/2009 - 12/31/2009


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

3704 Pheasant Lane
Waterloo, IA 50701
Principal Investigator


This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project is to develop a low cost educational Particle Image Velocimetry (ePIV) suite including both hardware and software for fluid science and engineering education at university undergraduate and graduate school levels. The proposed PIV is the state of the art technology in fluid flow research that enables visual and quantitative analysis of the flow field. Industrial/research level PIV system usually costs over $100,000. The high cost and safety considerations - because of the use of high power Class IV lasers - prohibit adaptation of PIV systems in the US higher education system. Current PIV systems typically use two pulse lasers with 50 mJ/pulse energy and 5 nanossecond pulse duration. This translates to a total power of 10 mega Watts if it was a continuous laser. In summary, although it is very challenging to develop a PIV system that works with only a single 15 milliwatt continuous laser and a regular CCD camera, the Phase I outcomes indicate that it is feasible. The project will create learning materials by developing software as a virtual teaching assistant for the education process, where the students can develop enhanced understanding of fluid flow by interactive experiments through a computer terminal in the classroom. Hence, the software will be an instrument