We present an optical method for measuring the real-time three-dimensional (3D) translational velocity of a diffusely scattering rigid object observed through an imaging system. The method is based on a combination of the motion of random speckle patterns and regular fringe patterns. The speckle pattern is formed in the observation plane of the imaging system due to reflection from an area of the object illuminated by a coherent light source. The speckle pattern translates in response to in-plane translation of the object, and the presence of an angular offset reference wave coinciding with the speckle pattern in the observation plane gives rise to interference, resulting in a fringe pattern that translates in response to the out-of-plane translation of the object. Numerical calculations are performed to evaluate the dynamic properties of the intensity distribution and the response of realistic spatial filters designed to measure the three components of the object’s translational velocity. Furthermore, experimental data are presented that demonstrate full 3D velocity measurement.
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