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19 May 2005 A co-boresighted synchronized ladar/EO imager for creating 3D images of dynamic scenes
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An integrated ladar/EO imager has been developed that synchronizes and aligns CMOS digital camera readouts with the scan motion of a time-of-flight pulsed ladar . A prototype has been developed at the Utah State University Center for Advanced Imaging Ladar that reads out a 13 by 13 patch of RGB pixels within the subtended angle of a single ladar beam footprint. The readout location for the patch is slaved to the ladar and follows the ladar beam as it is scanned within the field-of-view. As the scanning occurs, the x-y-z position of each footprint and associated image patch is determined via the ladar. Multiple patches can then be mosaiked to build up a 3D image composed of 3D texture elements (texels) or 3D splats. Because of its ability to produce texels on-the-fly, the system is called a Texel Camera. The approach precludes mismatched occlusions and other ill-effects when motion occurs in the scene. The existing prototype consists of a single-channel flying-spot ladar running at approximately 470 shots/second and a color imager running at approximately 160 times the shot rate. Other designs are in development that employ line-flash and array flash ladar components that will run at pixel rates up to two orders of magnitude faster. The ability to create high-fidelity combined ladar/EO data sets in real time will be advantageous for time-critical applications such as cruise missile automatic target recognition. The design has the potential for applications in space rendezvous and dock, airborne automatic target recognition, surveillance from a tripod, and others that benefit from real-time 3D imagery creation.
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Robert T. Pack, Paul Israelsen, and Kylee Sealy "A co-boresighted synchronized ladar/EO imager for creating 3D images of dynamic scenes", Proc. SPIE 5791, Laser Radar Technology and Applications X, (19 May 2005);


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