SCHLIEREN SEQUENCE ANALYSIS USING COMPUTER VISION
Smith, Nathanial Timothy
Lewis, Mark J
MetadataShow full item record
Computer vision-based methods are proposed for extraction and measurement of flow structures of interest in schlieren video. As schlieren data has increased with faster frame rates, we are faced with thousands of images to analyze. This presents an opportunity to study global flow structures over time that may not be evident from surface measurements. A degree of automation is desirable to extract flow structures and features to give information on their behavior through the sequence. Using an interdisciplinary approach, the analysis of large schlieren data is recast as a computer vision problem. The double-cone schlieren sequence is used as a testbed for the methodology; it is unique in that it contains 5,000 images, complex phenomena, and is feature rich. Oblique structures such as shock waves and shear layers are common in schlieren images. A vision-based methodology is used to provide an estimate of oblique structure angles through the unsteady sequence. The methodology has been applied to a complex flowfield with multiple shocks. A converged detection success rate between 94% and 97% for these structures is obtained. The modified curvature scale space is used to define features at salient points on shock contours. A challenge in developing methods for feature extraction in schlieren images is the reconciliation of existing techniques with features of interest to an aerodynamicist. Domain-specific knowledge of physics must therefore be incorporated into the definition and detec- tion phases. Known location and physically possible structure representations form a knowledge base that provides a unique feature definition and extraction. Model tip location and the motion of a shock intersection across several thousand frames are identified, localized, and tracked. Images are parsed into physically meaningful labels using segmentation. Using this representation, it is shown that in the double-cone flowfield, the dominant unsteady motion is associated with large scale random events within the aft-cone bow shock. Small scale organized motion is associated with the shock-separated flow on the fore-cone surface. We show that computer vision is a natural and useful extension to the evaluation of schlieren data, and that segmentation has the potential to permit new large scale measurements of flow motion.