Continuing advances in digital imaging technology stimulate greater interest in applying particle image velocimetry (PIV) over increasingly larger fields of view. Unfortunately when larger fields of view are analyzed, velocity gradients in the image become more localized. In addition, non-uniformities in image illumination and particle number density become more prevalent. These factors, coupled with the requirement that large areas of interest (AOIs) must be employed to measure the full range of velocity, cause degradation of correlation results (i.e. broadening and/or splintering of the cross correlation peak) which leads to positional bias errors in the measured velocity field. More advanced super resolution strategies that employ an iterative AOI reduction process inherently reduce positional bias in PIV results but these strategies can break down in complex flows where velocity gradients are steep and particle dispersion does not remain uniformly random. To mitigate these problems a simple but effective technique is presented that enables individual velocity vectors to be placed within an AOI at locations toward which the cross correlation plane is biased. The method involves analysis of the correlation plane to extract the dominant features that are matched in two successive AOIs. To demonstrate the utility of the methodology results obtained from synthetic images are compared against results obtained using the conventional PIV approach.

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