A new instrumentation for particle velocity and velocity related measurements under water

Weijia Zhu, University of Rhode Island


This dissertation investigates the capability of a new instrument for small particle velocity measurement and velocity related signal analysis in an underwater environment. ^ This research started from the laser beam quality test, which was performed in air. It was conducted mainly by means of an optical fiber sensor combined with a computer controlled stepping motor as well as two other methods, edge detection and needle-tip scattering. The stepping motor offers a constant velocity to the fiber sensor, so that the beam separation can be accurately measured by using the constant velocity value and the transit time determined by the cross correlation function of two digital signals. Meanwhile, information of the beam intensity profile, the parallelism of the two beams and the in-air beam widths can also be obtained in the test. ^ By using the calibrated beam separation of the ribbon pair in the beam quality test, particle velocity measurements are carried out based on the relation between velocity, displacement and time in a 500-liter open water tank. The time delay for a particle crossing over the two ribbons in sequence is obtained by computing the cross correlation of the two signals. In fact, the time delay is actually a statistical mean value of many particles that cross over the ribbons in a short time. So is the measured velocity. ^ The third part of this research is the practical study on pulse shape analysis based on the data sets of the velocity measurement. Several computer programs are developed to explore the pulse height distribution in a data set, to study the pulse degeneration, the relationship between the pulse width and the velocity, and the in-water beam width information. ^ Some important reference materials are displayed in the appendices such as the fundamentals of the cross correlation and auto correlation, three main MATLAB programs developed for this research, the theoretical analysis of particle diffraction. ^

Subject Area

Physical Oceanography|Physics, Optics|Environmental Sciences

Recommended Citation

Weijia Zhu, "A new instrumentation for particle velocity and velocity related measurements under water" (2006). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI3239913.