Inria and CEMAGREF are analysing currents
This year, the Rennes-based Research Centre played host to a new team project by the name of FLUMINANCE, conducted jointly by Inria and CEMAGREF. Its originality lies in the fact that it combines the image processing and analysis skills of researchers at the Institute with the fluid mechanics skills of researchers at CEMAGREF. Pollution flows and tornados had better behave themselves!
The idea is simple - coupling innovative image analysis techniques with physical models to observe water fluid or air flows. For five years Inria and CEMAGREF have been working together to ensure the continuity of the FLUID Project, funded by the European Commission and coordinated by Etienne Mémin, an Inria researcher in the area of image analysis and processing. “At the time, CEMAGREF had just acquired one of the most innovative wind tunnels for its Rennes centre,” recalled Etienne Mémin. “They were looking for better image analysis methods to analyse their experimental and industrial flows. A problem of particular interest to our own research.” The joint effort on the FLUID Project and other projects backed by the State and the Brittany Region became a research team in its own right in 2009 with the two organisations pooling their resources. FLUMINANCE, headed by Etienne Mémin.
The FLUMINANCE Team is breathing fresh air into fluid flow analysis techniques using images. In contrast to traditional techniques which rely on uncorrelated general hypotheses of an observed phenomenon, the techniques used by the team seek to analyse sequences as a whole coupling them with flow dynamics models. Based on information contained in an image, it is a matter of extracting as faithfully as possible flows which obey the laws of fluid mechanics and turbulence. “We end up with velocity fields which accurately describe changes in the flows observed,” explained the researcher. “This applies to wind tunnel experiments, to images of clouds, rivers or ocean currents. These highly reliable techniques which can also be applied to satellite images can be used in addition to more traditional measures in areas of the world where there are no weather stations.