Snapshot 3D reconstruction of liquid surfaces

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Abstract

In contrast to static objects, liquid structures such as drops, blobs, as well as waves and ripples on water surfaces are challenging to image in 3D due to two main reasons: First, the transient nature of those phenomena requires snapshot imaging that is fast enough to freeze the motion of the liquid. Second, the transparency of liquids and the specular reflections from their surfaces induce complex image artefacts. In this article we present a novel imaging approach to reconstruct in 3D the surface of irregular liquid structures that only requires a single snapshot. The technique is named Fringe Projection - Laser Induced Fluorescence (FP-LIF) and uses a high concentration of fluorescent dye in the probed liquid. By exciting this dye with a fringe projection structured laser beam, fluorescence is generated primarily at the liquid surface and imaged at a backward angle. By analysing the deformation of the initial projected fringes using phase-demodulation image post-processing, the 3D coordinates of the liquid surface are deduced. In this article, the approach is first numerically tested by considering a simulated pending drop, in order to analyse its performance. Then, FP-LIF is applied for two experimental cases: A quasi-static pending drop as well as a transient liquid sheet. We demonstrate reconstruction RMS errors of 1.4% and 6.1% for the simulated and experimental cases respectively. The technique presented here demonstrates, for the first time, a fringe projection approach based on LIF detection to reconstruct liquid surfaces in 3D. FP-LIF is promising for the study of more complex liquid structures and is paving the way for high-speed 3D videography of liquid surfaces.

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  • Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17906-17922
Number of pages17
JournalOptics Express
Volume28
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

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