Air Flow Visualization System

Level of Education of Students Involved


Faculty Sponsor

Peter Krenzke




Mechanical Engineering

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 4-27-2023


I developed an apparatus to visualize pressure gradients in the air. This apparatus is based on the concept of Schlieren imaging. Schlieren being German for streak, as high contrast streaks in the image show the differences in pressure. Key components of the apparatus are an optical zoom camera, point light source, spherical concave mirror, and a knife edge. While the limitations of the usefulness of this apparatus are only constrained by the imagination, the initial application is for visualizing density gradients in the air caused by convective heat transfer. A longer-term goal for the project is to visualize the flow of air through a wind tunnel.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

I’ve always had an interest in learning more about the world around me. I sought this project because unlike most other things, the air is invisible so it’s very difficult to grasp its characteristics and interactions with the world. I’ve seen videos on this topic before, but this research project gives me the resources and guidance to see this for myself.

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