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19 May 2012 Low-power 20-meter 3D ranging SPAD camera based on continuous-wave indirect time-of-flight
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Three dimensional (3D) image acquisitions is the enabling technology of a great number of applications; culture heritage morphology study, industrial robotics, automotive active safety and security access control are example of applications. The most important feature is the high frame-rate, to detect very fast events within the acquired scenes. In order to reduce the computational complexity, Time-of-Flight algorithms for single sensor cameras are used. To achieve high-frame rate and high distance measurement accuracy it is important to collect the most part of the reflected light using sensor with very high sensitivity, allowing the implementation of a low-power light source. We designed and developed a single-photon detection based 3D ranging camera, capable to acquire distance image up to 22.5 m, with a resolution down to one centimeter. The light source used in this prototype employs 8 laser diodes sinusoidally modulated. The imager used in the application is based on Single-Photon Avalanche Diodes (SPADs) fabricated in a standard CMOS 0.35 μm technology. The sensor has 1024 pixels arranged in a 32x32 squared layout, with overall dimensions of 3.5mm x 3.5mm. The camera acquires 3D images through the continuous-wave indirect Time of Flight (cw-iTOF) technique. The typical frame-rate is 20 fps while the theoretical maximum frame-rate is 5 kfps. The precision is better than 5 cm within 22.5 m range, and can be effectively used in indoor applications, e.g. in industrial environment.
© (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
S. Bellisai, L. Ferretti, F. Villa, A. Ruggeri, S. Tisa, A. Tosi, and F. Zappa "Low-power 20-meter 3D ranging SPAD camera based on continuous-wave indirect time-of-flight", Proc. SPIE 8375, Advanced Photon Counting Techniques VI, 83750E (19 May 2012);


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