The use of high-speed cameras as a tool for the characterization of raindrops in splash laboratory studies

Fernández-Raga, María; Cabeza-Ortega, Marco; González-Castro, Víctor; Peters, Piet; Commelin, Meindert; Campo, Julián


Measuring the characteristics of raindrops is essential for different processes studies. There have been many methods used throughout history to measure raindrops. In recent years, automatic image recognition and processing systems have been used with high-speed cameras to characterize rainfall by obtaining the spectrum of droplet sizes and their speeds and thus being able to use this technology to calibrate rainfall simulators. In this work, two phases were carried out: in the first one, individual drops with terminal speeds of different sizes were measured and processed both in speed and in shape with a high-speed camera; and in the second phase, a calibration procedure was designed but in multidrop images, determining the characteristics of the drops produced by a rain simulator. According to results, the real shape of each drop depending on the size was determined, from round to ovaloid shapes, and the terminal velocity of water drops with different sizes was measured. Based on the rain images used to calibrate a rainfall simulator, it was observed that, with a higher intensity of rain, the drops produced were smaller, which contrasts with real rain, in which just the opposite happens. This calibration evaluates their resemblance to reality, calculates the real kinetic energy of the rain they produce and see if they can be used to model events in nature.