Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Tadd T. Truscott


Angela Minichiello


Barton Smith


One of the most important tools in a fluid dynamics laboratory is a particle image velocimetry (PIV) system. This system can measure the speed of a fluid flow simply by taking high-speed images of the motion of the fluid, then applying PIV cross-correlation software to calculate speed from the resulting images. The mI-PIV project is in the process of designing a new method of performing PIV by putting the cross-correlation software on a mobile phone application, called mobile Instructional PIV (mI-PIV). This system is an innovative stepping stone in making PIV systems more widely available. It is designed to be convenient and safe even for high school classrooms, which until now have had virtually no exposure to PIV due to its expensive, complex, and dangerous nature.

This thesis will describe the examination of different aspects of the mI-PIV system, such as algorithms and illumination for imaging of the flow, and their separate effects on the accuracy of the system. Such a study serves to guide in the design process of mI-PIV as we strive to balance safety, simplicity, cost, and accuracy of the system. Using this process, we plan to create a real solution for making PIV a useful tool in high school classrooms, undergraduate laboratories, and potentially in industries where inexpensive, low-speed fluid velocity measurements are needed.