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Application of background-oriented schlieren (BOS) for the qualitative analysis of flow through a regulator

Transactions of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration , 2011, Vol. 330, No. 1, pp. 421-428

Jong, E.C.; Griffin, K.R.; Luxbacher, K.D.


The schlieren technique describes an optical analysis method designed to enhance light distortions caused by air movement. The ability to visualize air flow has significant implications for analyzing underground mine ventilation systems, including the enhancement of surveys and models. Currently, traditional schlieren methods are impractical underground. Background-oriented schlieren (BOS) provides a solution to this problem. BOS requires two primary components, a professional quality digital camera and a schlieren background. A schlieren background is composed of a varying contrast repetitive pattern, such as black and white stripes. This background allows the camera’s sensor to capture minor light diffractions, such as those caused by air flow. Although BOS shows great potential for ventilation analysis, sensitivity is an issue. This paper seeks to validate the BOS technique for imaging flow through a regulator by comparing BOS images with traditional schlieren images. This paper also outlines initial experimental efforts used for the validation.