In this paper a novel technique for flow measurement which is based on the photoacoustic (PA) Doppler effect is described. A significant feature of the proposed approach is that it can be implemented using tone burst optical excitation thus enabling simultaneous measurement of both velocity and position. The technique, which is based on external modulation and heterodyne detection, was experimentally demonstrated by measurement of the flow of a suspension of carbon particles in a silicon tube and successfully determined the particles mean velocity up to values of 130 mm/sec, which is about 10 times higher than previously reported PA Doppler setups. In the theoretical part a rigorous derivation of the PA response of a flowing medium is described and some important simplifying approximations are highlighted.
©2010 Optical Society of America
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