Research Topic

Applications of Infrared Methods in Fluid Mechanics

About this Research Topic

Infrared (IR) sensors and systems have found great utility in scientific disciplines such as oceanography, meteorology, and astronomy. Engineering applications include the detection of energy losses in buildings, the detection of atmospheric and waterborne pollutants, medical imaging, and many others too numerous to mention. Military needs have also driven the development of large format IR detectors that operate at high frame rates and high spatial resolution.
Early infrared detectors have matured from single pixel detectors to line scan systems, and eventually to the modern focal plane array cameras of today. These systems have benefited greatly from numerous technological advances in electronics, integrated circuit design, closed-loop cooling systems, and materials engineering. Now commercially available high definition high dynamic range fast frame rate cameras with pixel pitch on the order of 15 microns are available. For research purposes, prototype systems with comparable pixel pitch and dynamic range that are 2048 x 2048 pixels and larger have been developed.

Unlike many other electro-optic sensor systems that primarily rely on the reflective and scattering properties of an object, infrared cameras sense emitted radiation. In many applications, sensors are designed to detect IR radiation in the 3-5 micron (Mid-Wave-IR or MWIR) and 8-14 micron (Long-Wave-IR or LWIR) wavelength bands. With a typical camera thermal resolution of 25 x 10^-3 K or better, many subtle temperature changes unable to be detected easily by other means, are now accessible. Access to the temporal and spatial behavior of these features may lead to a deeper understanding of interfacial fluid dynamical processes and phenomena.

In spite of the wide applicability of these advanced IR systems to explore large scale geophysical and astronomical phenomena, their use in exploring smaller scale fluid dynamical processes has only recently begun. This new area of research is sometimes referred to as infrared hydrodynamics. Here we encourage the submission of experimental, theoretical, or numerical efforts which explore the use of IR methods to investigate small scale fluid mechanical phenomena, or which explore the use of thermal fields as tracers of complex fluid motions. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, thermal processes at free surfaces, free-surface turbulence interactions, surfactant effects on surface fluid motions, air-sea transport of heat and gas, wake and jet turbulence, detection of subsurface objects, and general vortex dynamics.

Image courtesy of I. Savelyev, NRL


Keywords: Infrared, Fluid Mechanics, Turbulence, Thermal Radiation, Free-surface


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Infrared (IR) sensors and systems have found great utility in scientific disciplines such as oceanography, meteorology, and astronomy. Engineering applications include the detection of energy losses in buildings, the detection of atmospheric and waterborne pollutants, medical imaging, and many others too numerous to mention. Military needs have also driven the development of large format IR detectors that operate at high frame rates and high spatial resolution.
Early infrared detectors have matured from single pixel detectors to line scan systems, and eventually to the modern focal plane array cameras of today. These systems have benefited greatly from numerous technological advances in electronics, integrated circuit design, closed-loop cooling systems, and materials engineering. Now commercially available high definition high dynamic range fast frame rate cameras with pixel pitch on the order of 15 microns are available. For research purposes, prototype systems with comparable pixel pitch and dynamic range that are 2048 x 2048 pixels and larger have been developed.

Unlike many other electro-optic sensor systems that primarily rely on the reflective and scattering properties of an object, infrared cameras sense emitted radiation. In many applications, sensors are designed to detect IR radiation in the 3-5 micron (Mid-Wave-IR or MWIR) and 8-14 micron (Long-Wave-IR or LWIR) wavelength bands. With a typical camera thermal resolution of 25 x 10^-3 K or better, many subtle temperature changes unable to be detected easily by other means, are now accessible. Access to the temporal and spatial behavior of these features may lead to a deeper understanding of interfacial fluid dynamical processes and phenomena.

In spite of the wide applicability of these advanced IR systems to explore large scale geophysical and astronomical phenomena, their use in exploring smaller scale fluid dynamical processes has only recently begun. This new area of research is sometimes referred to as infrared hydrodynamics. Here we encourage the submission of experimental, theoretical, or numerical efforts which explore the use of IR methods to investigate small scale fluid mechanical phenomena, or which explore the use of thermal fields as tracers of complex fluid motions. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, thermal processes at free surfaces, free-surface turbulence interactions, surfactant effects on surface fluid motions, air-sea transport of heat and gas, wake and jet turbulence, detection of subsurface objects, and general vortex dynamics.

Image courtesy of I. Savelyev, NRL


Keywords: Infrared, Fluid Mechanics, Turbulence, Thermal Radiation, Free-surface


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

30 November 2017 Manuscript
31 December 2017 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

30 November 2017 Manuscript
31 December 2017 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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