Particle Image Velocimetry (P.I.V.) generates large quantities of data in a single experiment, so that an automatic means of data processing is essential. This paper introduces a confidence criteria for P.I.V. data which enables an automatic system of data processing to be implemented. For steady flows a scanned laser beam system is described which allows automatic processing of Young’s fringes through cross correlation. For unsteady flows optical processing of P.I.V. data using a photorefractive BS0 crystal is preferred. Both techniques avoid the need for computationally intensive digital image processing techniques.

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