Numerical Uncertainty in Density Estimation for Background Oriented Schlieren
Keywords:Background Oriented Schlieren, Uncertainty Quantification, Numerical Uncertainty, Richardson Extrapolation
Background Oriented Schlieren (BOS) is an image-based density measurement technique. BOS estimates the density gradient from the apparent distortion of a target pattern viewed through a medium with varying density using cross-correlation, tracking, or optical flow algorithms. The density gradient can then be numerically integrated to yield a spatially resolved estimate of the density . A method was recently proposed to estimate the a-posteriori instantaneous and spatially resolved density uncertainty for BOS  and showed good agreement between the propagated uncertainties and the random error. However, the density uncertainty quantification method could not account for the systematic uncertainty in the density field due to the discretization errors introduced during the numerical integration, which could be much larger than the displacement random errors . In this work, we propose a method to estimate the numerical uncertainty introduced by the density integration in BOS measurements, using a Richardson extrapolation framework. A procedure is also introduced to combine this systematic uncertainty with the random uncertainty from the previous work to provide an instantaneous, spatially-resolved total uncertainty on the density estimates. The method will be tested with synthetic fields and synthetic BOS images.
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