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Long-range depth imaging using a single-photon detector array and non-local data fusion

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https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-44316-x
https://rdcu.be/bFvpb
Original languageEnglish
Article number8072
Number of pages9
JournalScientific Reports
Volume9
Early online date30 May 2019
DOIs
StateE-pub ahead of print - 30 May 2019

Abstract

The ability to measure and record high-resolution depth images at long stand-off distances is important for a wide range of applications, including connected and automotive vehicles, defense and security, and agriculture and mining. In LIDAR (light detection and ranging) applications, single-photon sensitive detection is an emerging approach, offering high sensitivity to light and picosecond temporal resolution, and consequently excellent surface-to-surface resolution. The use of large format CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) single-photon detector arrays provides high spatial resolution and allows the timing information to be acquired simultaneously across many pixels. In this work, we combine state-of-the-art single-photon detector array technology with non-local data fusion to generate high resolution three-dimensional depth information of long-range targets. The system is based on a visible pulsed illumination system at a wavelength of 670 nm and a 240 × 320 array sensor, achieving sub-centimeter precision in all three spatial dimensions at a distance of 150 meters. The non-local data fusion combines information from an optical image with sparse sampling of the single-photon array data, providing accurate depth information at low signature regions of the target.

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