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Posted: September 29, 2008

New measurement technique based on following molecules in airflow

(Nanowerk News) Dutch researcher Jeroen Bominaar has developed a new measurement technique based on following molecules in a (turbulent) airflow. Its main advantage is that no measuring instruments or small particles, such as glass beads, need to be inserted into the flow. These techniques fail if, for example, the particle density is too low or the measurement techniques influence the flow. Bominaar's research was part of a project funded by Technology Foundation STW.
Jeroen Bominaar set out to improve the new measurement technique, apply it and study its effect. The method involves directing a focused laser beam in a single line in an airflow, which results in some of the nitrogen and oxygen molecules in the line being converted into nitric oxide molecules. Shortly afterwards the line of new molecules is irradiated with a second laser and this causes the molecules to fluoresce. As these molecules move with the airflow, the speed of the airflow can be accurately measured.
The technique can be used in situations where current particle techniques fall short of the mark, for sample, in accurate speed measurements in wind tunnels, on satellite engines or in the wake of moving objects. ILA GmbH, NMi, Philips Research and NLR were industrial partners in the research project.
About Technology Foundation STW
Technology Foundation STW funds applied technical scientific research. It brings together university and industrial partners in a user committee prior to the start of a project. Under the guidance of Technology Foundation STW a user committee regularly discusses the progress of the research project concerned and the intended direction of the research in question. This intensive cooperation leads to commercially applicable results that can often be exploited under a patent. Technology Foundation STW has a budget of about 50 million euro per year.
Source: The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research