Abstract

Accurate measurement of three-dimensional object coordinates from stereoscopic images is an essential element in various applications that require three-dimensional position information. Conventionally, optical ray tracing has been the measurement method of choice. However, it requires accurate knowledge of geometrical and optical parameters, such as the image distance, camera locations relative to the object field, and size, shape, and refractive index of intervening elements, such as apparatus windows. On the other hand, all these parameters need not be known if an optical transformation method based on an in situ calibration experiment is used. Furthermore, the use of in situ calibration not only increases the effective accuracy of the measured three-dimensional object coordinates but also reduces significantly the computational time compared with conventional optical ray tracing. The computational efficiency of the technique used is essential, especially when the application requires multiple determinations of a large number of three-dimensional coordinates, such as is the case with three-dimensional particle-tracking velocimetry. The basic concept and formulation of an optical transformation method based on an in situ calibration experiment is introduced. The technique is first demonstrated with synthetic data, then case studies with actual in situ calibration data are discussed.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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