Image registration algorithm for molecular tagging velocimetry applied to unsteady flow in Hele-Shaw cell

Florent Brunet, Emmanuel Cid, Adrien Bartoli, Emmanuella Bouche, Frédéric Risso, Véronique Roig

Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science, Volume 44, 897-904, January 2013

In order to develop velocimetry methods for confined geometries, we propose to combine image registration and volumetric reconstruction from a monocular video of the draining of a Hele-Shaw cell filled with water. The cell’s thickness is small compared to the other two dimensions (e.g. 1 x 400 x 800 mm^3). We use a technique known as molecular tagging which consists in marking by photobleaching a pattern in the fluid and then tracking its deformations. The evolution of the pattern is filmed with a camera whose principal axis coincides with the cell’s gap. The velocity of the fluid along this direction is not constant. Consequently, tracking the pattern cannot be achieved with classical methods because what is observed is the integral of the marked molecules over the entire cell’s gap. The proposed approach is built on top of direct image registration that we extend to specifically model the volumetric image formation. It allows us to accurately measure the motion and the velocity profiles for the entire volume (including the cell’s gap) which is something usually hard to achieve. The results we obtained are consistent with the theoretical hydrodynamic behaviour for this flow which is known as the Poiseuille flow.

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