High-performance holographic technologies for fluid-dynamics experiments

Sergei S. Orlov, Snezhana I. Abarzhi, Se Baek Oh, George Barbastathis, Katepalli R. Sreenivasan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Modern technologies offer new opportunities for experimentalists in a variety of research areas of fluid dynamics. Improvements are now possible in the state-of-the-art in precision, dynamic range, reproducibility, motion-control accuracy, data-acquisition rate and information capacity. These improvements are required for understanding complex turbulent flows under realistic conditions, and for allowing unambiguous comparisons to be made with new theoretical approaches and large-scale numerical simulations. One of the new technologies is high-performance digital holography. State-of-the-art motion control, electronics and optical imaging allow for the realization of turbulent flows with very high Reynolds number (more than 107) on a relatively small laboratory scale, and quantification of their properties with high space-time resolutions and bandwidth. In-line digital holographic technology can provide complete three-dimensional mapping of the flow velocity and density fields at high data rates (over 1000 frames per second) over a relatively large spatial area with high spatial (1-10 mm) and temporal (better than a few nanoseconds) resolution, and can give accurate quantitative description of the fluid flows, including those of multi-phase and unsteady conditions. This technology can be applied in a variety of problems to study fundamental properties of flow-particle interactions, rotating flows, non-canonical boundary layers and Rayleigh-Taylor mixing. Some of these examples are discussed briefly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1705-1737
Number of pages33
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number1916
StatePublished - Apr 13 2010


  • Fluid-dynamics experiments
  • Holographic technology
  • Optical diagnostics
  • Rayleigh-Taylor instability
  • Rotating flows
  • Turbulent mixing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Mathematics
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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