Laser-based volumetric flow visualization by digital color imaging of a spectrally coded volume

T. J. McGregor*, D. J. Spence, D. W. Coutts

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


We present the framework for volumetric laser-based flow visualization instrumentation using a spectrally coded volume to achieve three-component three-dimensional particle velocimetry. By delivering light from a frequency doubled Nd:YAG laser with an optical fiber, we exploit stimulated Raman scattering within the fiber to generate a continuum spanning the visible spectrum from 500 to 850 nm. We shape and disperse the continuum light to illuminate a measurement volume of 20×10×4 mm3, in which light sheets of differing spectral properties overlap to form an unambiguous color variation along the depth direction. Using a digital color camera we obtain images of particle fields in this volume. We extract the full spatial distribution of particles with depth inferred from particle color. This paper provides a proof of principle of this instrument, examining the spatial distribution of a static field and a spray field of water droplets ejected by the nozzle of an airbrush.

Original languageEnglish
Article number013710
Pages (from-to)013710-1-013710-7
Number of pages7
JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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