The optical method Digital Speckle Correlation Measurement (DSCM) has been extensively applied due its capability to measure the entire displacement field over a body surface. A formula of displacement measurement errors by the gradient-based DSCM method was derived. The errors were found to explicitly relate to the image grayscale errors consisting of sub-pixel interpolation algorithm errors, image noise, and subset deformation mismatch at each point of the subset. A power-law dependence of the standard deviation of displacement measurement errors on the subset size was established when the subset deformation was rigid body translation and random image noise was dominant and it was confirmed by both the numerical and experimental results. In a gradient-based algorithm the basic assumption is rigid body translation of the interrogated subsets, however, this is in contradiction to the real circumstances where strains exist. Numerical and experimental results also indicated that, subset shape function mismatch was dominant when the order of the assumed subset shape function was lower than that of the actual subset deformation field and the power-law dependence clearly broke down. The power-law relationship further leads to a simple criterion for choosing a suitable subset size, image quality, sub-pixel algorithm, and subset shape function for DSCM.

© 2012 Optical Society of Korea

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