31 May 2013 Depth perception camera for autonomous vehicle applications
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Abstract
An imager that can measure the distance from each pixel to the point on the object that is in focus at the pixel is described. Since it provides numeric information of the distance from the camera to all points in its field of view it is ideally suited for autonomous vehicle navigation and robotic vision. This eliminates the LIDAR conventionally used for range measurements. The light arriving at a pixel through a convex lens adds constructively only if it comes from the object point in focus at this pixel. The light from all other object points cancels. Thus, the lens selects the point on the object who's range is to be determined. The range measurement is accomplished by short light guides at each pixel. The light guides contain a p - n junction and a pair of contacts along its length. They, too, contain light sensing elements along the length. The device uses ambient light that is only coherent in spherical shell shaped light packets of thickness of one coherence length. Each of the frequency components of the broad band light arriving at a pixel has a phase proportional to the distance from an object point to its image pixel.
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Philipp Kornreich, Philipp Kornreich, } "Depth perception camera for autonomous vehicle applications", Proc. SPIE 8720, Photonic Applications for Aerospace, Commercial, and Harsh Environments IV, 87200R (31 May 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2001324; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2001324
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