This study focuses on a new image processing based color capturing technique for the quantitative interpretation of liquid crystal images used in convective heat transfer studies. The present method is highly applicable to the surfaces exposed to convective heating in gas turbine engines. The study shows that, in single-crystal mode, many of the colors appearing on the heat transfer surface correlate strongly with the local temperature. A very accurate quantitative approach using an experimentally determined linear hue versus temperature relation is possible. The new hue-capturing process is discussed in detail, in terms of the strength of the light source illuminating the heat transfer surface, effect of the orientation of the illuminating source with respect to the surface, crystal layer uniformity, and the repeatability of the process. The method uses a 24-bit color image processing system operating in hue-saturation-intensity domain, which is an alternative to conventional systems using red-green-blue color definition. The present method is more advantageous than the multiple filter method because of its ability to generate many isotherms simultaneously from a single-crystal image at a high resolution, in a very time-efficient manner. The current approach is valuable in terms of its direct application to both steady-state and transient heat transfer techniques currently used for the hot section heat transfer research in air-breathing propulsion systems.

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