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Open Source Particle Tracking Velocimetry

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What is Three-dimensional Particle Tracking Velocimetry

Three dimensional particle tracking velocimetry (3D-PTV) is one of velocimetry methods, i.e a technique to measure velocity of particles". 3D-PTV is the three-dimensional method, measuring velocity and velocity gradients along particle trajectories, i.e. in Lagrangian framework, in three dimensions and in time. This is among few techniques that can measure objects motion in the fluid flow of whatever complexity, three-dimensionality and unsteadiness. It is possible to obtain full field of velocity, velocity derivatives along with the Lagrangian acceleration and its spatial derivatives of higher moments. Read more on Wikipedia

What is Open source Particle Tracking Velocimetry

OpenPTV foundation is a collaborative effort of several research groups to join in order to develop a better software for 3D-PTV.

How it started

OpenPTV is based on the core algorithms developed at ETH Zurich, see 3D-PTV. The branches of the Zurich code have been developed independently by TU/e group of Turbulence and Vortex Dynamics (C++ version with Tcl/Tk and few new algorithms of general coordinate transformation) and by the Turbulence Structure Laboratory at Tel Aviv University (Python version, PyPTV). Following the meeting at TU/e in October 2012, the three groups (ETH, TU/e and TAU) decided to release their software under open source licenses.

Kick-off meeting in Tel Aviv, April 29 - May 3, 2013

Workshop on Open Particle Tracking Velocimetry

Outcome of the kick-off meeting

See some of our photos and media here: photos and media

How to get started

  1. Read more about what this method is and what is not: 3D-PTV
  2. Read the installation instructions for a few-clicks-away version or full open-source compilation: Installation
  3. Try one of the data example sets following our screencast tutorials

Software development is managed on Github

  1. ** LGPL licensed liboptv library and MIT-licensed Python GUI **
  2. Data examples

We also maintain the original Zurich code C+Tcl/Tk version (including test folder) - stable version, development halted

Support and contact info

Ask your questions on our Google group based mailing list or drop us an e-mail to

If you are interested in commercial applications and full commercial support, ask the group or write to photrack Ltd


If you are looking for the Open Source Personal Transport Vehicle, follow

Note that there are few methods that use similar names but different goals. OpenPTV is not related to:

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