Experimental Mechanics

, Volume 53, Issue 9, pp 1661–1680 | Cite as

A Study of the Influence of Calibration Uncertainty on the Global Uncertainty for Digital Image Correlation Using a Monte Carlo Approach

  • P.L. Reu


Stereo digital image correlation (DIC) is now a standard measurement technique. It is, therefore, important to quantify the measurement uncertainties when using it for experiments. Because of the complexity of the DIC measurement process, a Monte Carlo approach is presented as a method to discover the magnitude of the stereo-DIC calibration uncertainty. Then, the calibration errors, along with an assumed sensor position error, are propagated through the stereo-triangulation process to find the uncertainty in three-dimensional position and object motion. Details on the statistical results of the calibration parameters are presented, with estimated errors for different calibration targets and calibration image quality. A sensitivity study was done to look at the influence of the different calibration error sources. Details on the best approach for propagating the errors from a statistical perspective are discussed, including the importance of using a “boot-strap” approach for error propagation because of the covariance of many of the calibration parameters. The calibration and error propagation results are then interpreted to provide some best-practices guidelines for DIC.


Digital image correlation DIC Full-field measurements Uncertainty quantification Optical methods Measurement techniques 



The help of Stephanie Fitchett for her many discussions regarding statistics and the Monte Carlo method are greatly appreciated. For help understanding DIC and photogrammetry I would like to thank Tim Miller and Hubert Schreier.

Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory managed and operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000.


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Copyright information

© Society for Experimental Mechanics 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sandia National LaboratoryAlbuquerqueUSA

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