Optical Positioning, Instrumentation and Evaluation

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Project Type: 

Students Involved:

Derek Michelin UNH - Department of Mechanical Engineering
Shannon Stott UNH - Department of Mechanical Engineering

Faculty Advisors:

M. Robinson Swift UNH - Department of Mechanical Engineering
Kenneth Baldwin UNH - Department of Mechanical Engineering

Analyzing the response of marine structures to controlled wave simulations provides a great aid in improving their design and defining their performance. The need for accurate, planar motion analysis of models in the UNH wave tank prompted the design of OPIE, an optical positioning instrumentation and evaluation system. Extensive research was conducted to identify the optimal system type for this application. Optical analysis methods were the clear solution. The final OPIE system consisted of a CCD camera, frame grabber and custom designed computer. A powerful software package was developed to analyze the images and generate practical depiction of the models kinematics. OPIE has proven through initial tests to provide an accurate representation of the position, velocity and acceleration of planar motion. This system incorporates state-of-the-art technology with a user-friendly platform allowing for the easy implementation of advanced applications.


Available from the National Sea Grant Library (use NHU number to search) or NH Sea Grant


  • Optical positioning instrumentation & evaluation (1997). Derek Michelin and Shannon Stott. Advisors: Kenneth Baldwin and M. Robinson Swift.