The present paper presents an experimental method to measure velocity fields in a cavitating flow. Dynamics of the liquid phase and of the bubbles are both investigated. The measurements are based on ultra fast X-ray imaging performed at the APS (Advanced Photon Source) of the Argonne National Laboratory. This is collaboration between research teams devoted to fluid mechanics (LML laboratory, Laboratory for water and turbine machines) and experts in X-ray imaging (French atomic commission, Argonne National Laboratory). The experimental device consists of a millimetric Venturi test section associated with a transportable hydraulic loop. Various configurations of velocity, pressure, and temperature have been investigated. This first paper focuses on the experimental equipment and process, and also the description of the image processing which is performed to analyze the results and obtain the velocity fields of both phases within the cavitating areas. Promising preliminary results are also presented.

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