Sizing of sand and ash particles using their speckle pattern: influence of particle opacity
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A speckle pattern is an interference pattern produced by coherent light scattered from an irregular particle. This pattern is observed in the out-of-focus plane of the particle and it can be used to obtain information about the particle size. When the particle is observed in focus, several bright spots known as glare points are observed on its surface. They correspond to the points from which the light is scattered in the direction of observation. Previous studies using the speckle pattern to obtain the size of irregular particles are based on the hypothesis that the glare points are distributed homogeneously over the whole surface of the particle. The research presented in this paper shows that in the case of opaque particles (such as ash particles), only the areas illuminated by the laser light are covered with glare points. This results in an underestimation of the particle size when characterizing opaque particles using their speckle pattern. In this paper, the speckle pattern is used to perform sizing measurements of translucent and opaque particles, and the results are compared with the ones obtained by image processing of their in-focus images.
The authors acknowledge the financial support of the Agency for Innovation by Science and Technology in Flanders (IWT).