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PaIRS-UniNa: A Robust And Accurate Free Tool For Digital Particle Image Velocimetry And Optical Camera Calibration

Gerardo Paolillo, Tommaso Astarita

University of Naples, Naples, Italy


This contribution presents PaIRS-UniNa (PArticle Image Reconstruction Software – University of Naples “Federico II”), a free software application designed to perform digital particle image velocimetry (PIV). PaIRS-UniNa relies on a powerful C library designed for speed, robustness and accuracy, and a user-friendly graphical interface (Figure 1) running in Python environment on all operating systems, including Windows, Linux and MacOS. At the current stage, it features modules to perform two-compenent (2C) PIV, stereoscpic PIV and optical camera calibration for multi-camera systems. The processing of PIV and stereoscopic PIV data is based on an iterative image deformation method, which can be customized by the user varying different parameters in such a way to find the best compromise between accuracy and computational speed. These parameters include the size, shape and number of interrogation windows, the number of process iterations and the type of interpolating functions for both image deformation and displacement interpolation (such as bilinear, bicubic, methods based on simplexes or the FFT shift theorem and B-splines of varying orders). Additionally, it is possible to select a range of weighting windows for cross-correlation estimation and velocity field filtering, including rectangular, Blackman, Gaussian, Harris, Hann windows, among others, and several vector validation strategies for outlier detection and replacement. Such a level of customization enables to effectively adjust the modulation transfer function of the PIV process to meet specific application requirements. For the stereoscopic PIV process two different approaches are possible: mapping, which involves applying PIV to de-warped images for 2D-2C displacement fields, and warping, which applies PIV to raw images and combine 3C reconstruction and image dewarping in a single subsequent step. In order to accurately estimate the laser sheet plane location and correct errors due to misalignment and inaccurate displacement vector positions, a disparity correction procedure is also available. The calibration module (CalVi) supports accurate calibration with the camera models mostly used in the PIV community: polynomials, rational functions and the pinhole camera model. Moreover, it supports the integration of the pinhole camera model with a refractive correction model for cylindrical geometries and camera calibration procedures working with unknown positions and orientations of the calibration target. In such a way, the target may be moved by hand wihtout losing accuracy in comparison with a conventional calibration, in which the target is displaced with the aid of translational and rotational stages and knowledge of the target positions is strictly required. Already used in numerous experimental studies by the Experimental Thermo-Fluid Dynamics group of University of Naples “Federico II” and international collaborating groups, PaIRS-UniNa offers a rapid and effective free alternative to commercial PIV software for research and industrial use.

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