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Published July 2018 | public
Journal Article

Single-camera three-dimensional tracking of natural particulate and zooplankton


We develop and characterize an image processing algorithm to adapt single-camera defocusing digital particle image velocimetry (DDPIV) for three-dimensional (3D) particle tracking velocimetry (PTV) of natural particulates, such as those present in the ocean. The conventional DDPIV technique is extended to facilitate tracking of non-uniform, non-spherical particles within a volume depth an order of magnitude larger than current single-camera applications (i.e. 10 cm  ×  10 cm  ×  24 cm depth) by a dynamic template matching method. This 2D cross-correlation method does not rely on precise determination of the centroid of the tracked objects. To accommodate the broad range of particle number densities found in natural marine environments, the performance of the measurement technique at higher particle densities has been improved by utilizing the time-history of tracked objects to inform 3D reconstruction. The developed processing algorithms were analyzed using synthetically generated images of flow induced by Hill's spherical vortex, and the capabilities of the measurement technique were demonstrated empirically through volumetric reconstructions of the 3D trajectories of particles and highly non-spherical, 5 mm zooplankton.

Additional Information

© 2018 IOP Publishing. Received 31 January 2018, revised 4 April 2018. Accepted for publication 30 April 2018. Published 17 May 2018. The diver-operated, multi-modality imaging system project is supported by the National Science Foundation under grant number DBI-1543599. VAT is supported by the Gabilan Stanford Graduate Fellowship and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (Grant No. DGE-114747). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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