Experiments in Fluids

, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 161–171 | Cite as

Stereoscopic micro particle image velocimetry

  • Ralph LindkenEmail author
  • Jerry Westerweel
  • Bernhard Wieneke
Research Article


A stereoscopic micro-PIV (stereo-μPIV) system for the simultaneous measurement of all three components of the velocity vector in a measurement plane (2D–3C) in a closed microchannel has been developed and first test measurements were performed on the 3D laminar flow in a T-shaped micromixer. Stereomicroscopy is used to capture PIV images of the flow in a microchannel from two different angles. Stereoscopic viewing is achieved by the use of a large diameter stereo objective lens with two off-axis beam paths. Additional floating lenses in the beam paths in the microscope body allow a magnification up to 23×. The stereo-PIV images are captured simultaneously by two CCD cameras. Due to the very small confinement, a standard calibration procedure for the stereoscopic imaging by means of a calibration target is not feasible, and therefore stereo-μPIV measurements in closed microchannels require a calibration based on the self-calibration of the tracer particle images. In order to include the effects of different refractive indices (of the fluid in the microchannel, the entrance window and the surrounding air) a three-media-model is included in the triangulation procedure of the self-calibration. Test measurement in both an aligned and a tilted channel serve as an accuracy assessment of the proposed method. This shows that the stereo-μPIV results have an RMS error of less than 10% of the expected value of the in-plane velocity component. First measurements in the mixing region of a T-shaped micromixer at Re = 120 show that 3D flow in a microchannel with dimensions of 800 × 200 μm2 can be measured with a spatial resolution of 44 × 44 × 15 μm3. The stationary flow in the 200 μm deep channel was scanned in multiple planes at 22 μm separation, providing a full 3D measurement of the averaged velocity distribution in the mixing region of the T-mixer. A limitation is that this approach requires a stereo-objective that typically has a low NA (0.14–0.28) and large depth-of-focus as opposed to high NA lenses (up to 0.95 without immersion) for standard μPIV.


Point Spread Function Tracer Particle Measurement Plane Particle Image Diameter Ensemble Correlation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors would like to thank Cor Rops (TNO Science & Industry, Delft, The Netherlands) for the help with the production of the microchannels and Peter Vennemann (Aero- and Hydrodynamics, TU Delft, The Netherlands) for the help with setting up the stereoscopic microscope for the measurements.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ralph Lindken
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jerry Westerweel
    • 1
  • Bernhard Wieneke
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory for Aero and HydrodynamicsDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands
  2. 2.LaVision GmbH GöttingenGermany

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