Cross sectional multiphase fluid flow imaging using short wave infrared optical imaging techniques
Short wave infra-red imaging technology is being developed in order to map the internal structure of optically opaque complex multiphase fluid flows.
Technologies to map the internal flow properties of multiphase fluids are key for the accurate measurement and understanding of complex fluid flows, and also the development of multi-dimensional flow assurance models. Optical technologies are particularly advantageous because of their ability to give instantaneous, whole field data that is simple to interpret. However when applying conventional optical imaging methods to multiphase fluids with a significant oil component, the opacity of oil limits the observable volume to a depth of a few microns. Measurements beyond this depth can only be achieved using optically transparent model fluids. Model fluids that mimic the complex properties of complex multiphase fluids are notoriously difficult to create, and their use in flow experiments reduces the realism and usefulness of the results.
CMR is developing technology based on short wave infra red imaging. Shortwave infra red light lies between the visible and IR (heat) regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, and has the characteristic of being able to transmit through hydrocarbons fluid that are opaque to human vision. The technology has been used to study multiphase fluid flows and the formation of hydrate crystals in crude oil flows.