Direct displacement measurements of submerged objects
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The direct measurement of displacement time histories, obtained by tracking illuminated targets located on the exterior surface of submerged objects, has significant advantages for large-scale model tests. Many problems of interest require the simultaneous measurement of three-dimensional motions at several elevations on the same body or on several bodies in close proximity. Thus, optical tracking of targets in air or water or some combination of the two required the development of a general analytical formulation capable of converting local data measured from multiple camera locations to a global coordinate system for further analysis. The formulation presented is quite general and allows one to study the displacement behavior of single or multiple targets located on the same object or on different moving objects. As part of the analysis, calibration issues, possible sources of error and the optimal choice of camera location are discussed in detail. Data obtained from a large-scale model test of deepwater platform TLP tendons subjected to random design seas is used to illustrate the methodology. In the example, four different cameras were used to record the tendon displacements. To illustrate the methodology, five different camera combinations were used to compute the target location. The results indicate that the formulation is quite robust and that, although only a two-camera system is required to resolve the three-dimensional global coordinates of a single target, the use of a third camera can enhance the accuracy of the results. Guidelines for using cameras to track target motion were developed and are presented. 1997 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.