Particle image velocimetry (PIV) at the DLR site in Göttingen

Based at the DLR Institute of Aerodynamics and Flow Technology in Göttingen, the large-scale PIV facility is a mobile system that is unique within Europe and can be used in a variety of facilities, in particular wind tunnels. PIV is a non-contact optical measurement technique that allows flow velocities to be recorded simultaneously at many points within a measurement plane.

Sophisticated measurement technology for industry and research

The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) large-scale PIV facility enables the quantitative visualisation of complex flow phenomena by means of instantaneous three-component (3C-) velocity vector fields in planes and volumes of the flow, with high spatial resolution. DLR’s PIVview software allows automated, script-controlled evaluation and mapping of the data in wind-tunnel or model-based coordinate systems. The array of applications for PIV measurement technology ranges from low-velocity to transonic and hypersonic airflows.

The facility is unique within Germany and enables the use of measurement technology in industrial wind tunnels in Germany (ETW, DNW, BLSWT), as well as project initiation, especially as part of the aeronautical research programme, the H2020 EU projects or the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft; DFG). The primary purpose of this large-scale facility is to further develop PIV measurement technology for measurement tasks in industry, and to make it available for research projects. The hardware and software are suitable for industrial use and thus the acquisition of new projects. The gain in scientific knowledge that can be achieved as a result of the facility is also very important for internal DLR projects.

The fulfilment of many third-party-funded contracts is only possible with this large-scale facility. The large-scale PIV facility will allow commitments to be met in terms of the Aviation Research Programme (Luftfahrtforschungsprogramm, LuFo) of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz; BMWK) European Union programmes and projects by the DFG, and also enable national partnerships (university educatio, Bachelor’s, Master’s and doctoral programmes) and international cooperative efforts (for example, with ONERA, DNW, CNRS, LML Lille, TU Delft, University of Oxford) to be established and maintained. In addition, this large-scale facility gives DLR unique national capacities and capabilities compared with its counterparts elsewhere in Europe.


Volker Speelmann

Head of Research Infrastructures
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Executive Board department for Innovation, Transfer and Research Infrastructure
Linder Höhe, 51147 Cologne

Dr. rer. nat. Andreas Schröder

German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Institute of Aerodynamics and Flow Technology
Experimental Methods
Bunsenstraße 10, 37073 Göttingen