For years high-speed imaging has been used in research laboratories and academic institutions worldwide providing students and faculty with detailed analysis of a wide variety of events. Common applications and techniques in the academic field include, but are not limited to, the use of Digital Image Correlation (DIC), Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV), Microfluidics, Schlieren, Combustion Research and more. To learn more about each application and technique or to find out what type of Photron high-speed camera would be best suited for those applications simply click on the title for each section.


Applications & Techniques

Digital Image Correlation

Digital Image Correlation has been used in both the aerospace and defense industries for years. DIC is a 2D or 3D imaging technique used to measure deformation, vibration, and strain in materials.

Partical Image Velocimetry

PIV plays an important role in understanding the fundamental physics of complex flows. PIV tracks the velocity of microscopic tracer particles in gases or fluids by recording their velocity and providing flow visualization.


Microfluidics is the science of manipulating and controlling fluids through micro-channels. This type of research requires microminiaturized devices that contain chambers through which fluids flow or are confined.


Schlieren imaging in aerospace and defense applications provide important visual data on how invisible elements, such as air and gas, move and react in various environments.
Virtual Engineering Lab Using Photron High-Speed Cameras for Aviation Research
Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) is using high-speed digital cameras, manufactured by Photron, in their Virtual Engineering Laboratory in a variety of testing modes such as high-impact dynamic events.

Laboratory Director Gerardo Olivares uses Photron’s FASTCAM SA-Z models to capture high-resolution images of events that happen too fast for the eye to see. The SA-Z high-speed cameras capture up to 20,000 fps at full resolution of 1024 x 1024 pixels.

The Virtual Engineering Laboratory has four Photron SA-Z cameras, two of which are color plus two monochrome models. Olivares says the flexibility of the frame rate and excellent quality of image resolution make the FASTCAM SA-Z an ideal high-speed camera for their testing processes.

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High-Speed Photography and Digital Optical Measurement Techniques for Geomaterials: Fundamentals and Applications
Geomaterials (i.e. rock, sand, soil and concrete) are increasingly being encountered and used in extreme environments, in terms of the pressure magnitude and the loading rate. Advancing the understanding of the mechanical response of materials to impact loading relies heavily on having suitable high-speed diagnostics. One such diagnostic is high-speed photography, which combined with a variety of digital optical measurement techniques can provide detailed insights into phenomena including fracture, impact, fragmentation and penetration in geological materials. This review begins with a brief history of high-speed imaging. Section 2 discusses of the current state of the art of high-speed cameras, which includes a comparison between charge-coupled device and complementary metal-oxide semiconductor sensors. The application of high-speed photography to geomechanical experiments is summarized in Sect. 3. Section 4 is concerned with digital optical measurement techniques including photoelastic coating, Moiré, caustics, holographic interferometry, particle image velocimetry, digital image correlation and infrared thermography, in combination with high-speed photography to capture transient phenomena. The last section provides a brief summary and discussion of future directions in the field.

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