A review of several current optical diagnostics used for flow visualization is presented and the limitations and strengths of each technique are described. A new type of intelligent diagnostic optic designed for making three-dimensional measurement of velocity in a gas turbine combustor is proposed. The diagnostic uses an in-line tomographic approach combined with correlation theory to spatially locate structure within the flow. A discussion is then made as to why some optical diagnostics have been more successful than others in their general application. The potential advantages of evolving new technology and the implications for future instrumentation are also discussed. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved
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