, Volume 52, Issue 4, pp 1063-1075,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 09 Sep 2011

On the effect of particle image intensity and image preprocessing on the depth of correlation in micro-PIV


The depth of correlation (DOC) is an experimental parameter, introduced to quantify the thickness of the measurement volume and thus the depth resolution in microscopic particle image velocimetry (μPIV). The theory developed to estimate the value of the DOC relies on some approximations that are not always verified in actual experiments, such as a single thin-lens optical system. In many practical μPIV experiments, a deviation of the actual DOC from its nominal value can be expected, due for instance to additional components present in the optical path of the microscope or to the use of image preprocessing before the PIV evaluation. In the presented paper, the effect of real particle image intensity distribution and image preprocessing on the thickness of the measurement volume is investigated. This is performed studying the defocusing of tracer particles and the DOC-related bias error present in μPIV measurements in a Poiseuille flow. The analysis shows that the DOC predicted using the conventional formulas can be significantly smaller than its actual value. To overcome this problem, the use of an effective NA determined experimentally from the curvature of the image autocorrelations is proposed. The accuracy of this approach to properly predict the actual size of DOC is discussed and validated on the experimental data. The effectiveness of image preprocessing to reduce the DOC-related bias error is tested and discussed as well.