Background Oriented Schlieren, which was first reported by Dalziel
et al. (1998), measures the light deflection caused by density gradients
of the understudy flow by recording the distortion of a background image. A
high frequency two dimensional rigid plane is usually used as a background.
Two pairs of images of the background are recorded, i.e, one image without the flow and the second image of the background with the flow that is under investigation.
Local changes in the refraction index, due to the existence of the under-study flow field, displace the features of the background pattern image. Various types of optical flow algorithms can be employed to measure the light ray deflection based on the deformation of the background. The index of refraction can be computed once the light deflection angles are known. The direct relationship between the refraction index and density of a fluid under investigation can be exploited to measure the temperature and other thermodynamic parameters of the under-study flow.
Preliminary studies on BOS by Raffel et al. (2000);
Richard and Raffel (2001); Meier
(2002) have shown several possible applications of BOS. These include density
fields of helicopter-generated vortices and supersonic jets. However, these
studies are predominantly qualitative in nature.
Venkatakrishnan and Meier (2004) had made a density
measurement for Mach 2 cylindrical cone airflow. Several researchers (Raffel
et al., 2000; Richard and Raffel, 2001; Meier,
2002; Venkatakrishnan and Meier, 2004; Elsinga
et al., 2004; Vasudeva et al., 2005;
Kindler et al., 2007) used cross-correlation
algorithm to calculate the displacement vector field which was further employed
to generate refractive index field using Poisson equation. Inverse tomographic
algorithms had been implemented (Venkatakrishnan and Meier,
2004; Kindler et al., 2007; Goldhahn
and Seume, 2007), which can extract two dimensional slices of index of refraction
from three dimensional flow.
This study proposes to extract the spatial and temporal variation of temperature
field for an open flame. The deflection vectors were computed based on optical
flow equation which accommodates scenes where the flow medium absorbs or emits
light. In order to find the temperature distribution of the methane flame, the
species created due to the combustion reaction were calculated using CANTERA
These species concentration information and the calculated index of refraction
were used to find out the flame temperature distribution.
BACKGROUND ORIENTED SCHLIEREN (BOS)
The BOS system is used to measure the index of refraction gradients of a medium,
resulting from the light ray refraction and deflection due to localized heating
or composition gradients in a gas. BOS employs computer generated random dot
pattern placed behind the flow media. The density field under study is placed
in between the camera and the dot pattern. Two different types of the dot pattern
images are taken; one with the presence of density field in between the camera
and the dot pattern while the other one without density effects. The displacements
of the dots are calculated using image correlation algorithms.
The deflection vector can be easily converted into angular deflection in accordance
with the relative positions between apparatuses in BOS setup and focal length
of the camera lens. By taking paraxial approximation into account, Equation
(1) shows the integration of geometrical optics ray equation (Settles,
where, ε is the light deflection angles in X,Y directions and n index of refraction.
Based on Gladstone dale equation, there is a linear relationship between the field density and index of refraction, given as:
where, G (λ) Gladstone-Dale constant and ρ density of the test field
The experimental setup comprises of the LABOGAZ 206 gas flame delivery system and the Background Oriented Schlieren setups.
For optical measurements, the BOS setup consists of a wavelet noise generated
background pattern, optical lenses, Xenon stroboscope light, Photron Fastcam-x
1280 PCL high speed camera with Nikkor optical lens of 60 mm focal length and
Fastcam Control software. A wavelet noise developed by Cook
and DeRose (2005) is generated and printed on transparency using laser jet
BOS IMAGE PROCESSING
The displacement vectors of the background pattern can be computed using PIV
like window based interrogation technique or other optical flow algorithms.
| Table 1:
||Optical measurements setup
The former practice is the most widely used technique in BOS experiments. The
optical flow algorithms use local derivatives to approximate the image motion
of optical interest. In our case, it is the displacement of the background feature.
Optical flow assumes that all the temporal intensity change between two images
is due to the flow motion only. Recent studies have shown arguing that the gradient
based optical flow algorithms suit BOS technique best (Atcheson
et al., 2008). Both of the above techniques dont consider change
in intensity due to the flow field. Since an image intensity is the convolution
of the object function (O) and transfer function (T):
It is obvious that the change in transfer medium affects the background image
intensity. The flow media which is being investigated in this study is a flame,
which has a distinctive behavior of emitting light, makes the fundamental assumption
of intensity constancy principle inapplicable. To alleviate this problem, an
intensity variation constant term was added to the original optical flow equation.
Filtered back projection tomography was used to reconstruct two dimensional
index of refraction information. Once the index of refraction is obtained, the
density field can be computed by Gladstone-Dale equation of gas mixtures.
Light beam deflection measurement: The original optical flow estimation
can be stated as (Barron et al., 1994):
Δt is taken to be unity for ease of calculation, Eq. 3 is the optical flow differential equation which assumes object tends to maintain their intensity values.
BOS literatures show most of the deflection vector computing techniques are either a region based (PIV like) optical flow algorithms or techniques which use first order differential techniques. Both techniques assume pixel intensity constancy. But this assumption only works when there is no change in illumination, camera lens distortion and many other factors that affect the assumed image intensity invariance.
To account for the intensity variation, the back ground intensity of I (x,
y, z) was multiplied by a certain constant K and compared with the image intensity
taken through the flow, which is I (x+δx, y+δy, t+δt) (Iffa
et al., 2010).
The 3 unknowns, namely δx, δy and K, were solved using Lucas-Kande
first order differential estimation. (Lucas and Kanade,
The displacement vectors were converted into angle of deflections based on the relative position of background pattern, camera lens and concentration field location within the BOS Set-up.
Once the angles of deflections are obtained, the index of refraction can be obtained by inverting the geometric ray equation (Eq. 1). The density data can be computed using Gladstone dale equation (Eq. 2).
Data extraction: The temperature measurements of the flow field can
be obtained by utilizing ideal gas equation and Gladstone-Dale equation for
gas mixtures (Settles, 2001) as:
where, i is the species type generated during flame combustion. The temperature
and new species created by the chemical reaction of the fuel and the oxidant
was calculated using CANTERA [http://www.cantera.org/].
The Gladstone-Dale constant (G (λi), real gas constant (R) and
species molecular weight Mi can be found from data books. Based on
these given information the index of refraction was calculated using Eq.
5. The calculated index of refraction values were compared with the index
of refraction (n) which was computed using Eq. 1. Once the
index of refraction values matching by the two methods are done, the respective
temperature values are obtained.
where, Xi is species mole fraction Mi is species molecular weight.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
The flame imaging was conducted using three techniques namely: direct visualization, schlieren imaging and BOS. An image taken by direct imaging in Fig. 1 helps for qualitative visualization and for measuring macro spray/flame parameters like flame area and flame cone angle.
On the other hand, a conventional schlieren image in Fig. 2 tells the density gradients of the gas flow before and after it is ignited.
|| Direct flame visualization
||(a)-The gas flow schlieren image before ignition (b)-the flame
schlieren image after ignition
In order to measure temperature of the flame, we used BOS technique to measure
the deflection vector of the wavelet background. Figure 3
shows the background image taken through the gas flame.
|| The BOS image taken through gas flame media
|| Displacement vector field
The background image taken with and without the flame media in between the
camera and background are used as image frames to measure the background features
displacement. The computed displacement vector field is shown in Fig.
For fast reacting flames, Bilger (1976) noted that
some scalars, for example mixture fractions, are uniquely related to major species
concentrations in the flame. Based on Bilgers assumption, Agrawal
et al. (2002) has inferred temperature and species mole from rainbow
schlieren measurements of the refractive index difference of pure hydrogen.
The fuel species data generated using CANTERA showed 50 different species due
to chemical reaction between the fuel and air, assuming chemical equilibrium.
Species with the maximum mole fractions less than 10-5 were removed to adapt
a procedure proposed by (Agrawal et al., 2002).
This assumption effectively reduces the number of species under consideration
to 12. A table that relates the varying specific mole fractions, temperature
and the change in index of refraction with 8 digit precision was made based
on Eq. 5. Figure 5b and how the temperature
distribution along the axi-symmetric axis of the flame.
||(a)-Plane used to show temperature distribution. (b-d) Temperature
distribution contour plot in steps of 500 K in every 30 ms interval
The obtained flame temperature values are compared to Thermocouple measurements that are made in a radial plane at 50 mm from the nozzle at different points. A good agreement is found with BOS measurements. The graph that compares thermocouple with BOS measurements is shown in Fig. 6.
The RMS percentage error between the two measurements is less than one percent (0.78 %).
BOS technique is employed to measure the temperature of a natural gas flame.
An optical flow model that embraces the intensity variation is developed. The
measured temperature values are compared with thermocouple measurements and
a high degree of correlation is achieved.
|| Mean temperature values on radial plane
This result shows the modified optical flow algorithm has helped the BOS to
be a high-quality optical technique to measure thermodynamic parameters like
The authors would like to acknowledge the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Petronas, for providing Laboratory facilities.