Worcester Polytechnic Institute Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection

Title page for ETD etd-0910102-141712

Document Typethesis
Author NameShear, Michael A
Email Address Michael.Shear at umassmed.edu
TitleUltrasonic Measurement of Thin Condensing Fluid Films
DepartmentElectrical & Computer Engineering
  • Peder C. Pedersen, Advisor
  • James C. Hermanson, Co-Advisor
  • Fred J. Looft III, Committee Member
  • Keywords
  • microgravity
  • condensation
  • ultrasound
  • Date of Presentation/Defense2002-04-18
    Availability unrestricted


    The condensation of vapor onto a cooled surface is a phenomenon which can be difficult to quantify spatially and as a function of time; this thesis describes an ultrasonic system to measure this phenomenon. The theoretical basis for obtaining condensate film thickness measurements, which can be used to calculate growth rates and film surface features, from ultrasonic echoes will be discussed and the hardware and software will be described. The ultrasonic system utilizes a 5MHz planar piston transducer operated in pulse-echo mode to measure the thickness of a fluid film on a cooled copper block over the fluid thickness range of 50 microns to several centimeters; the signal processing algorithms and software developed to carry out this task are described in detail. The results of several experiments involving the measurement of both non-condensing and condensing films are given. In addition, numerical modeling of specific condensate film geometries was performed to support the experimental system; the results of modeling nonuniform fluid layers are discussed in the context of the effect of such layers on the measurement system.

  • shear.pdf

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