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Stereoscopic PIV is used to obtain the three-component velocity field in the planar region illuminated by a laser light sheet. The fundamental principle behind 3-D PIV is stereoscopic imaging of particles in an illuminated plane in the flow. Two cameras view the plane at different angles and capture particle displacement images that contain the influence of the third velocity component. Innovative data reduction provides the true particle displacements and on-line 3-D velocity vector field display.


Since introducing the first commercial 2D-PIV system in 1988, TSI has led the way in PIV innovation and technology. A natural extension of 2D-PIV is Stereoscopic PIV, which provides the out-of-plane velocity component, in addition to the two in-plane components, upon the addition of a second camera. Stereoscopic PIV provides enhanced understanding of a flow relative to 2D-PIV because it offers insight into the three-dimensional structure within the illumination plane. TSI's Stereoscopic PIV systems maintains our strong PIV tradition by incorporating advanced analysis schemes in a robust hardware and software platform built for flexibility and expansion.

Upgrading from 2D-PIV to Stereoscopic PIV is easy and straightforward. The upgrade consists of a second camera and lens, Scheimpflug camera mounts (which allow for in-focus imaging from an angle), a dual-plane/dual-sided calibration target, and a software module. A stereoscopic PIV system can be a convenient stepping stone for upgrade towards a V3V volumetric PIV systems as well. 

The MODULE-STRPIV package for INSIGHT™ 4G software provides data acquisition and processing capability for stereoscopic PIV. System calibration is performed quickly and reliably using a single image pair in forward-, back-, or side-scatter arrangements, and TSI’s Stereo-Automapping functionality corrects for target and laser plane misalignment, ensuring a high-quality calibration. Features such as grid deformation, the patented Hart and Rohaly-Hart correlation algorithms, and other algorithms from our exclusive license to MicroPIV technology such as ensemble correlation averaging and background correction, ensure the highest possible measurement accuracy even in sparsely seeded flows and flows with large spatial velocity gradients.

Stereoscopic PIV systems can be supplied in low-speed (several Hertz), mid-speed, and high-speed (even 10’s of kilohertz) forms, allowing the customer to achieve whatever temporal resolution is needed for their specific application. Please see TSI’s Time-Resolved PIV systems for additional details.

TSI has supplied Stereoscopic PIV systems for many applications, both traditional and unique. Some of the more interesting applications include large-scale wind tunnels (where TSI’s new Bubble Generator is invaluable), tow tanks (where remote camera control is a must), and index-of-refraction matched facilities.


  • Three-dimensional flows including shear layers, wakes, and boundary layers
  • Wind tunnel and water tunnel measurements
  • Turbulence studies
  • Tow tanks
  • Index-matched flow facilities

Core System Components

  • Double-pulse PIV laser (typically Nd:YAG or Nd:YLF)
  • Light sheet optics (i.e., Model 610026)
  • PIV cameras (2) with frame-straddling (specific model depends upon application; includes camera lens, all interface cables, camera frame grabber)
  • Stereo-PIV Assembly kit (i.e., Model 640054) including Dual Plane/Dual Sided (DPDS) calibration target, base, brackets, camera mounts, Scheimpflug mounts, and alignment kit
  • LaserPulse™ Synchronizer (Model 610036)
  • INSIGHT™ 4G Data Acquisition, Analysis and Display Software Package and PC
  • Seed particles and/or seed particle generator (i.e., Model 9307)

Accessories and Customization Options

  • LaserPulse light arm (Model 610015)
  • Camera lens optical filter (i.e., Model 610070)
  • Remote Scheimpflug, aperture, and focus control for cameras
  • Custom-sized Dual-Plane/Dual-Sided (DPDS) calibration targets
  • A broad selection of available lasers (energies/powers, repetition rates, wavelengths, etc.) and cameras (CCD, CMOS, and sCMOS sensors, and varied spatial resolution, frame rates, and sensitivities), depending on your needs

Features and benefits

  • Online measurement and display of all three velocity components
  • Online mapping function eliminates the need to measure camera angles
  • DPDS target for generating mapping function eliminates need to traverse target
  • Back-, forward- or side-scatter camera positioning
  • Optional remote focusing and Scheimpflug adjustment