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26 May 2011 Incoherent light guide imager for harsh and complex environments
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Abstract
Fiber optic imaging systems are used in many applications, including medical imaging, machinery diagnostics, and remote sensing. Most commonly, coherent bundles of optical fibers are used that maintain the spatial positioning of each fiber throughout the length of the bundle, resulting in a recognizable proximal (camera side) image that is almost identical to the distal image projected into the bundle by the lens. Although coherent fiber bundles provide excellent solutions for many imaging applications, their limited flexibility and thermal stress intolerance may prohibit them from being used in harsh or complex environments. The flexibility and thermal tolerance of a fiber imaging system can be significantly improved by using an incoherent bundle of fibers wherein the spatial positioning of each fiber is not preserved throughout the length of the bundle. Incoherent bundles need to be calibrated to provide the means to reconstruct distal imagery. In reported calibration schemes, the calibration time is strongly dependent on the ratio between the bundle size and the fiber size. The calibration time can thus become prohibitive for highly resolved images using many fibers. A novel calibration scheme is described for incoherent bundles where the calibration time is proportional to the bundle-to-fiber size ratio, resulting in significantly reduced processing time and enabling more highly resolved images. As an added benefit for medical and remote sensing applications, incoherent light guides scramble the scene images, which may provide a desirable level of data privacy.
© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
L. R. Gauthier Jr. "Incoherent light guide imager for harsh and complex environments", Proc. SPIE 8026, Photonic Applications for Aerospace, Transportation, and Harsh Environment II, 80260B (26 May 2011); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.883633
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