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Visualizing a Jet of Fluid
t the January 1999 Aerospace Sciences meeting of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Rich Charles of SDSC presented a paper on techniques for displaying 2-D fluid flow velocity by using the third dimension--treating the 2-D fluid as a rippled surface, with height above a flat reference plane representing one of the components of a vector field such as its magnitude. In a diagram on paper or on screen this can be indicated by an oblique or perspective view of the surface. Top: In a 2-D weak jet in a strong co-flowing stream, the velocity field is displayed with a color-vector technique. Middle: The density field for the jet flow is displayed using standard techniques. Bottom: In Charles' false-height technique, the density field combined with velocity information produces "cats-eye" structures in the flow. Charles and SDSC's Michael Bailey used SDSC's TeleManufacturing Facility to create a solid model of a fluid jet that corresponds to the false-height velocity plot.