Phase-measuring deflectometry is an optical inspection technique for reflective surfaces. It enables absolute, quantitative surface measurements, given a calibrated measurement setup. Two general calibration approaches can be found in literature: First, the stepwise approach uses a calibration pattern and determines internal camera parameters and external geometrical parameters in separate, consecutive steps. Second, the holistic approach optimizes all parameters collectively, based on deflectometric measurements of a calibration mirror. Whereas both approaches have been compared regarding the accuracy of subsequent surface measurements, the present contribution focuses on experimental examination of their reproducibility. In experiment E1, we assess the parameter variability by repeating both calibration procedures ten times. In an additional experiment E2, we repeat all calibration measurements related to a mirror/pattern position ten times in a row before rearranging the mirror/pattern, in order to examine the purely noise-related parameter variability. Finally, we calculate the coordinate variability of a set of world points projected onto the image planes of the calibrated cameras. The measured variability is consistently higher in E1 than in E2 (average ratio: 3.2). Unexpectedly, in both experiments, the external parameter variability also turns out to be higher for the holistic approach compared to stepwise calibration (average ratio: 2.3). This is of importance, since the holistic approach is known from literature to be more accurate than the stepwise approach, regarding their respective application to surface measurements. The image coordinate variability is comparable for both calibration approaches with an average of 0.84 and 0.21 camera pixels for E1 and E2, respectively.
Phase-measuring deflectometry is a technique for non-contact inspection of reflective surfaces. A camera setup captures the reflection of a sine-modulated fringe pattern shifted across a screen; the location-dependent measured phase effectively encodes the screen coordinates. As the used fringe patterns are much narrower than the screen dimension, the resulting phase maps are wrapped. The number-theoretical solution uses the Chinese remainder theorem to calculate an unwrapped phase map from repeated measurements with coprime fringe widths. The technique is highly susceptible to phase noise, i.e. small deviations of the measured phase values generally lead to unwrapped phase values with large errors. We propose a modification and show how non-coprime period widths make phase unwrapping robust against phase noise. Measurements with two non-coprime fringe period widths introduce the opportunity to discriminate between “legal” measured phase value pairs, that potentially originate from noise-free measurements, and “illegal” phase value pairs, that necessarily result from noise-affected measurements. Arranged as a matrix, the legal measurements lie on distinct diagonals. This insight not only allows to determine the legality of a measurement, but also to provide a correction by looking for the closest legal matrix entry. We present an experimental comparison of the resulting phase maps with reference phase maps. The presented results include descriptive statistics on the average rate of illegal phase measurements as well as on the deviation from the reference. The measured mean absolute deviation decreases from 1.99 pixels before correction to 0.21 pixels after correction, with a remaining maximum absolute deviation of 0.91 pixels.