Shearography is a noncontact optical technique used to measure surface displacement derivatives. Full surface strain characterization can be achieved using shearography configurations employing at least three measurement channels. Each measurement channel is sensitive to a single displacement gradient component defined by its sensitivity vector. A matrix transformation is then required to convert the measured components to the orthogonal displacement gradients required for quantitative strain measurement. This transformation, conventionally performed using three measurement channels, amplifies any errors present in the measurement. This paper investigates the use of additional measurement channels using the results of a computer model and an experimental shearography system. Results are presented showing that the addition of a fourth channel can reduce the errors in the computed orthogonal components by up to 33% and that, by using 10 channels, reductions of around 45% should be possible
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