Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) has become a cornerstone of modern experimental fluid mechanics due to its unique ability to resolve the entire instantaneous two-dimensional velocity field of an experimental flow. However, this methodology has historically been omitted from undergraduate curricula due to the significant cost of research-grade PIV systems and safety considerations stemming from the high-power Nd-YAG lasers typically implemented by PIV systems. In the following undergraduate thesis, a low-cost model of a PIV system is designed to be used within the context of an undergraduate fluid mechanics lab. The proposed system consists of a Hele-Shaw water tunnel, a high-power LED lighting source, and a modern smartphone camera. Additionally, a standalone application was developed to perform the necessary image processing as well as to perform Particle Streak Velocimetry (PSV) and PIV image analysis. Ultimately, the proposed system costs $229.33 and can replicate modern PIV techniques albeit for simple flow scenarios.
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