Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) is a laser application that is used to characterize and measure the velocity of fluids. Tracer particles, that illuminate when exposed to laser light, are added to the fluids been analyzed. These tracer particles are small enough to allow them to follow the flow dynamics of a given fluid. The speed and motion of these particles is then used to characterize the fluid being studied.
A typical PIV system consist of a camera, a light source or pulsed laser, an optic to expand the light to the desired test area and an electronics synchronizer that acts as a trigger for the PIV process. The most common type of laser used in PIV is a frequency doubled, pulsed 532nm laser. Both lamp pumped and diode pumped lasers can be used.