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This paper presents the result of a new evaluation of particle image velocimetry (PIV) as applied to dusty plasmas. In this work, the PIV analysis technique is used to analyze the velocity distributions of particles in a simulated microgravity experiment of an electrorheological complex plasma. Because of the averaging effects associated with the PIV analysis technique, a mapping function is required to relate the velocity distribution measured by PIV and the original distribution. The simulation data is used to perform a rigorous evaluation of this mapping function. It is shown that the mapping function accurately reproduces (with discrepancies of under 20%) the velocity distribution of the simulation data thus providing an important validation of the PIV technique.
Date of Publication: April 2010