Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Barton Smith


Particle image velocimetry (PIV) is an optical technique used to measure fluid velocity. PIV measurements have many sources that create uncertainty in the velocity results. The objective of this report is to investigate some commonly cited uncertainty sources and to show methods than can be used to find the value of the uncertainty sources. These sources are: magnification, calibration, perspective, resolution and the computation scheme. Experiments were conducted to find the impact that sources have on the velocity measurements. Several methods are presented to demonstrate how to measure the uncertainty of error for a PIV experiment. Some error quantities are computed and found experimentally. Several error sources were found to be small. Some sources depend on the setup of the experiment and should be computed for every experiment. One method that has been presented for finding the uncertainty in the computation scheme was found to be unreliable for small particles.


This work made publicly available electronically on June 4, 2012.