An optical method for non-intrusive wave amplitude measurement is examined. An experimental setup was constructed to produce sprays of various fluids including Canola oil and glycerin-water mixtures, such that precise control of pressure up to 140 psi was possible. A spray was produced by a 20 Gallon per hour oil burner nozzle at varying pressures. Initially, a smooth laminar conical sheet was noticed which eventually was found to break up into droplets. A laser was passed through the laminar conical sheet and was projected onto a surface on the other side and resulted in a vertical linear projection. This projection is postulated to be formed due to the scanning motion of the laser beam as instability waves pass through the laser. The angle of this scan was found to be a function of pressure, cone angle, and distance of laser from nozzle. High resolution images were taken of the film profile as well as the projected image and image analysis software was used to calculate cone angles and angular scan of the laser. Tests were performed with Canola Oil as well as a mixture of glycerin and water in order to evaluate the effect of viscosity and surface tension on the measurements. The resulting data was used to illustrate a principle for determining the instability wave amplitude using this technique.

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