Motion Analysis Enhances Visualization of Underbody Flow
Velocity profiles for air flowing under a vehicle body are determined by analyzing videotapes of neutrally buoyant soap bubbles using motion analysis software and equipment. What had heretofore been primarily a qualitative flow visualization technique has been extended to provide quantitative data. The light sources, cameras, and bubble generator, mounted on the vehicle, are powered by the vehicle's electrical system, making it possible to compare underbody velocities measured in a wind tunnel with those over the road. Results are presented for a heavy-duty 4×4 pickup truck at speeds up to 25m/s (55 mph). The velocity profiles in the tunnel and on the road were quite similar.