OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 39, Iss. 32 — Nov. 10, 2000
  • pp: 5978–5990

Contrast-enhancement techniques for particle-image velocimetry

Paul A. Dellenback, Jayakrishnan Macharivilakathu, and Scott R. Pierce  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 39, Issue 32, pp. 5978-5990 (2000)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (205 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



In video-based particle-image velocimetry (PIV) systems for fluid mechanics research, it is sometimes desirable to image seed particles to be smaller than a camera pixel. However, imaging to this size can lead to marginal image contrast such that significant numbers of erroneous velocity vectors can be computed, even for simple flow fields. A variety of image-enhancement techniques suitable for a low-cost PIV system that uses video cameras are examined and tested on three representative flows. Techniques such as linear contrast enhancement and histogram hyperbolization are shown to have good potential for improving the image contrast and hence the accuracy of the data-reduction process with only a 15% increase in the computational time. Some other schemes that were examined appear to be of little practical value in PIV applications. An automated shifting algorithm based on mass conservation is shown to be useful for displacing the second interrogation region in the direction of flow, which minimizes the number of uncorrelated particle images that contribute noise to the data-reduction process.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(100.0100) Image processing : Image processing
(100.2000) Image processing : Digital image processing
(100.2980) Image processing : Image enhancement
(120.7250) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Velocimetry

Original Manuscript: June 27, 2000
Published: November 10, 2000

Paul A. Dellenback, Jayakrishnan Macharivilakathu, and Scott R. Pierce, "Contrast-enhancement techniques for particle-image velocimetry," Appl. Opt. 39, 5978-5990 (2000)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. R. J. Adrian, “Multi-point optical measurements of simultaneous vectors in unsteady flow—a review,” Int. J. Heat Fluid Flow 7, 127–145 (1986). [CrossRef]
  2. Y. A. Hassan, O. G. Philip, W. D. Schmidt, “Bubble collapse velocity measurements using a particle image velocimetry technique with fluorescent tracers,” in Experimental and Numerical Flow Visualization (American Society of Mechanical Engineers, New York, 1993), 172, pp. 85–92.
  3. X. Zhang, C. S. Cox, “Feature correlation for particle image velocimetry: an application of pattern recognition,” in Optical Techniques in Fluid, Thermal, and Combustion Flows, S. S. Cha, J. Trolinger, eds., Proc. SPIE2546, 46–53 (1995). [CrossRef]
  4. M. P. Wernet, “Fuzzy inference enhanced information recovery from digital PIV using cross-correlation combined with particle tracking,” in Optical Techniques in Fluid, Thermal, and Combustion Flows, S. S. Cha, J. Trolinger, eds., Proc. SPIE2546, 54–64 (1995). [CrossRef]
  5. E. L. Hall, Computer Image Processing and Recognition (Academic, New York, 1979).
  6. E. L. Hall, R. P. Kruger, S. J. Dwyer, D. L. Hall, R. W. McLaren, G. S. Lodwick, “A survey of preprocessing and feature extraction techniques for radiographic images,” IEEE Trans. Comput. 20, 1032–1044 (1971). [CrossRef]
  7. A. Rosenfeld, A. C. Kak, Digital Picture Processing (Academic, New York, 1982), Chap. 1.
  8. A. Mokrane, “A new image contrast enhancement technique based on a contrast discrimination model,” CVGIP Graph. Models Image Process. 54, 171–180 (1992). [CrossRef]
  9. W. Frei, “Image enhancement by histogram hyperbolization,” Comput. Graph. Image Process. 6, 286–294 (1977). [CrossRef]
  10. W. K. Pratt, Digital Image Processing (Wiley, New York, 1991).
  11. S. R. Pierce, “Fluid flow characterization by digital particle image velocimetry,” M.S. thesis (University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyo., 1995).
  12. G. L. Switzer, L. P. Goss, D. D. Trump, B. Sarka, “Application of laser-sheet-lighting techniques to multiple-point velocity measurements in mixing flows,” in International Congress of on Application of Lasers and Electro-Optics (Laser Institute of America, Toledo, Ohio, 1986), 58, pp. 106–113.
  13. W. H. Press, B. P. Flannery, S. A. Teukolsky, W. T. Vetterling, Numerical Recipes in C, The Art of Scientific Computing (Cambridge U. Press, Cambridge, UK, 1988).
  14. J. Macharivilakathu, “Image processing techniques in particle image velocimetry,” M.S. thesis (University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyo., 1998).
  15. A. M. Fincham, G. R. Spedding, “Low cost, high resolution DPIV for measurement of turbulent fluid flow,” Exp. Fluids 23, 449–462 (1997). [CrossRef]
  16. E. A. Cowen, S. G. Monismith, “A hybrid digital particle tracking velocimetry technique,” Exp. Fluids 22, 199–211 (1997). [CrossRef]
  17. J. P. Hartnett, C. Y. Koh, S. T. McComas, “A comparison of predicted and measured friction factors for turbulent flow through square ducts,” J. Heat Transfer 84, 82–88 (1962). [CrossRef]
  18. J. Laufer, “The structure of turbulence in fully developed pipe flow,” (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, Washington, DC, 1954).

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited