With support by the Commission of the European Union a network on the development, quality assessment and standardization of Particle Image Velocimetry has been established in 1997. These activities, coverd by the Thematic Network PivNet 1 (1997-2001), are carried forward in the framework of PivNet 2 (2002-2006).
"Particle Image Velocimetry" (PIV) is a unique optical non intrusive experimental method to capture whole velocity fields in flows, in a very short time. PIV is especially suited to help the design of modern aircraft by improving consequently the performance of industrial wind tunnels. PIV provides much more quantitative information in much less time than any other experimental technique, giving a deeper insight in the flow physics and saving large amounts of wind tunnel costs. The knowledge about the state-of-the art of the PIV technique in aeronautics has been widely disseminated by the previous Thematic Network, PivNet 1 (1997 - 2001). The main activities of PivNet have been: establishing an information base on PIV, organization of workshops and presentations of the PIV technique for industrial end-users, training and exchange of personnel, and formation and organization of an ERCOFTAC Special Interest Group on PIV (SIG 32).
The main benefit of the PivNet 2 network will be at an industrial level. Now, not just the general features of PIV shall be demonstrated like in PivNet 1, but - looking from the point of view of a specific problem of great industrial and economical interest, which must be solved, it shall be demonstrated, what the state-of-the art of the application of PIV in complex flow fields is. Then, having the knowledge about specific tools which allow a better insight in the flow characteristics of critical regions, the designers will be in a better position to plan investigations of complex flow fields, the results of which will allow to develop aircraft and engines with enhanced performances and in a shorter time. This is the reason why the leading European teams in the field of PIV together with end users representative for different industrial applications as well as for geographical distribution in Europe have formed the PivNet 2 membership to combine their efforts and knowledge to strengthen a very successful networking activity.
The main objective of PivNet 2 is the establishment of direct information exchange between end users in industry and PIV developers in universities and research institutes in order that the end users will obtain a clear picture of the state-of-the-art of the PIV technique and the developer will receive knowledge about problems in industry to be solved with PIV.