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Zemax Modeling Of A Self-Aligned Focusing Schlieren System With Simulated Compressible Flow

Nicholas A Mejia (1), Bryan E Schmidt (1), Brett F Bathel (2), Joshua M Weisberger (2), Joel A Mcquaid (3), Christoph Brehm (3), Craig T Johansen (4)

1. Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Heights, United States
2. NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, United States
3. University of Maryland, College Park, United States
4. University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada


A self-aligned focusing schlieren system is simulated in the ANSYS Zemax OpticStudio software environment. The model uses a custom scatter-defining dynamic link library on the retroreflective background in order to scatter rays in the direction of the incident ray rather than the specular ray. Simulated compressible flow refractive index fields are imported into Zemax by use of the grid gradient object and a workaround to the maximum point limit is introduced. The Ronchi ruling is built as a high resolution bitmap image in MATLAB and set in Zemax as a slide object allowing the bitmap image to either transmit or terminate rays at each line pair. The Zemax simulations are compared to computational numerical schlieren and experimental conventional, path-integrated schlieren results from a hypersonic stagnation point injection flow configuration and an experimental image of a shock wave from a laser-induced breakdown. In the stagnation point injection simulations, the Zemax schlieren images capture complex flow features such as the Mach disk, shear layers, contact surface, and bow shock well, but contains long, curved features (striations) between the model and the bow shock that are not present in the synthetic schlieren image from the CFD or the experimental image. The image from Zemax of the spark-induced shock wave captures the shape and curvature of the shock but appears blurry due to grid discretization in the computational data.

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