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Pitot Tube

A pitot tube is an instrument used to measure fluid flow rate and is typically used to measure air flow rate in a field test application. A pitot tube is a curved tube with an inlet that points toward the flow direction with no outlet, which is used to measure the total pressure of the flow. Often, there is a second pressure port on the side of the tube that senses the static pressure. The difference between the total and static pressure can be used to determine the velocity of the fluid. If this measurement is taking place in a duct or at an air vent, the cross sectional area can be used to calculate the volumetric flow rate. Pitot tubes for air flow rate measurement can be found in a long-term installation configuration or in a hand-held configuration.

Diagram of a pitot tube flow meter shows flow toward the sensor end of the meter on the left side. It's a bracket shape, with a collection area at the bottom that has a compartment for total pressure on the left and a separate one for static pressure on the right. The chambers are separated by a pressure transducer.

A diagram of a pitot tube flow meter
PiaCarrot, Wikimedia Commons