Experiments in Fluids

, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 467–476 | Cite as

An evaluation of optical flow algorithms for background oriented schlieren imaging

  • Bradley Atcheson
  • Wolfgang Heidrich
  • Ivo Ihrke
Research Article


The background oriented schlieren method (BOS) allows for accurate flow measurements with a simple experimental configuration. To estimate per-pixel displacement vectors between two images, BOS systems traditionally borrow window-based algorithms from particle image velocimetry. In this paper, we evaluate the performance of more recent optical flow methods in BOS settings. We also analyze the impact of different background patterns, suggesting the use of a pattern with detail at many scales. Experiments with both synthetic and real datasets show that the performance of BOS systems can be significantly improved through a combination of optical flow algorithms and multiscale background.


Particle Imaging Velocimetry Optical Flow Noise Pattern Image Pyramid Background Pattern 
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.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bradley Atcheson
    • 1
  • Wolfgang Heidrich
    • 1
  • Ivo Ihrke
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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