Application of a high resolution distributed temperature sensor in a physical model reproducing subsurface water flow, Measurement
- S Bersan
The reliability of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) codes is checked by comparing simulations with experimental data. A typical data set consists chiefly of velocity and temperature readings, both ideally having high spatial and temporal resolution to facilitate rigorous code validation. While high resolution velocity data is readily obtained through optical measurement techniques such as particle image velocimetry, it has proven difficult to obtain temperature data with similar resolution. Traditional sensors such as thermocouples cannot fill this role, but the recent development of distributed sensing based on Rayleigh scattering and swept-wave interferometry offers resolution suitable for CFD code validation work. Thousands of temperature measurements can be generated along a single thin optical fiber at hundreds of Hertz. Sensors function over large temperature ranges and within opaque fluids where optical techniques are unsuitable. But this type of sensor is sensitive to strain and humidity as well as temperature and so accuracy is affected by handling, vibration, and shifts in relative humidity. Such behavior is quite unlike traditional sensors and so unconventional installation and operating procedures are necessary to ensure accurate measurements. This paper demonstrates implementation of a Rayleigh scattering-type distributed temperature sensor in a thermal mixing experiment involving two air jets at 25 and 45 °C. We present criteria to guide selection of optical fiber for the sensor and describe installation setup for a jet mixing experiment. We illustrate sensor baselining, which links readings to an absolute temperature standard, and discuss practical issues such as errors due to flow-induced vibration. This material can aid those interested in temperature measurements having high data density and bandwidth for fluid dynamics experiments and similar applications. We highlight pitfalls specific to these sensors for consideration in experiment design and operation.