IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence

Techniques for Calibration of the Scale Factor and Image Center for High Accuracy 3-D Machine Vision Metrology

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This correspondence describes techniques for calibrating certain intrinsic camera parameters for machine vision. The parameters to be calibrated are the horizontal scale factor, i.e., the factor that relates the sensor element spacing of a discrete array camera to the picture element spacing after sampling by the image acquisition circuitry, and the image center, i.e., the intersection of the optical axis with the camera sensor. The scale factor calibration uses a 1-D-FFT and is accurate and efficient. It also permits the use of only one co-planar set of calibration points for general camera calibration. Three groups of techniques for center calibration are presented: Group I requires using a laser and a four-degree of freedom adjustment of its orientation, but is simplest in concept, and is accurate and reproducible. Group II is simple to perform, but is less accurate than the other two. The most general Group III is accurate and efficient, but requires a good calibration plate and accurate image feature extraction of calibration points. This is easily achievable, and a feasible setup is described. We recommend Group III most highly for machine vision applications. Results of real experiments are presented and compared with theoretical predictions. Accuracy and reproducibility of the calibrated parameters are reported, as well as the improvement in actual 3-D measurement due to center calibration. © 1988, IEEE. All rights reserved.