A unique, highly modular and flexible underwater system for stereoscopic particle image velocimetry (PIV) measurements has been designed, manufactured and tested. The instrument is intended for planar three-dimensional velocity measurements in large facilities such as water tow tanks and tunnels. The performance of the system is assessed in four major stereoscopic configurations. Errors under 2% for the in-plane components and 4% for the out-of-plane components are found. The system is tested in the INSEAN large circulating water channel where the measurement of the flow around a model ship oriented at a moderate yaw angle is performed and puts into evidence the main features of the flow.

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