Imaging flow velocity measurements are essential for the investigation of unsteady complex flow phenomena, e.g., in turbomachines, injectors and combustors. The direct optical measurement on fluid molecules is possible with laser Rayleigh scattering and the Doppler effect. However, the small scattering cross-section results in a low signal to noise ratio, which hinders time-resolved measurements of the flow field. For this reason, the signal to noise ratio is increased by using laser Mie scattering on micrometer-sized particles that follow the flow with negligible slip. Finally, the ongoing development of powerful lasers and fast, sensitive cameras has boosted the performance of several imaging methods for flow velocimetry. The article describes the different flow measurement principles, as well as the fundamental physical measurement limits. Furthermore, the evolution to an imaging technique is outlined for each measurement principle by reviewing recent advances and applications. As a result, the progress, the challenges and the perspectives for high-speed imaging flow velocimetry are considered.
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