Experiments in Fluids

, 59:97 | Cite as

Real-time quantitative Schlieren imaging by fast Fourier demodulation of a checkered backdrop

  • Sander WildemanEmail author
Research Article


A quantitative synthetic Schlieren imaging (SSI) method based on fast Fourier demodulation is presented. Instead of a random dot pattern (as usually employed in SSI), a 2D periodic pattern (such as a checkerboard) is used as a backdrop to the refractive object of interest. The range of validity and accuracy of this “Fast Checkerboard Demodulation” (FCD) method are assessed using both synthetic data and experimental recordings of patterns optically distorted by small waves on a water surface. It is found that the FCD method is at least as accurate as sophisticated, multi-stage, digital image correlation (DIC) or optical flow (OF) techniques used with random dot patterns, and it is significantly faster. Efficient, fully vectorized, implementations of both the FCD and DIC/OF schemes developed for this study are made available as open source Matlab scripts.



I am indebted to Antonin Eddi and Emmanuel Fort for their enthusiastic support during the development of the FCD method in their groups. I would also like to thank Guillaume Du Moulinet d’Hardemare and Lucie Domino for testing the method in their experiments and giving the necessary practical feedback.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut Langevin-Ondes et Images, ESPCIPSL Research UniversityParis Cedex 05France

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