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Scannerless laser range imaging using loss modulation

United States Patent

August 9, 2011
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
A scannerless 3-D imaging apparatus is disclosed which utilizes an amplitude modulated cw light source to illuminate a field of view containing a target of interest. Backscattered light from the target is passed through one or more loss modulators which are modulated at the same frequency as the light source, but with a phase delay .delta. which can be fixed or variable. The backscattered light is demodulated by the loss modulator and detected with a CCD, CMOS or focal plane array (FPA) detector to construct a 3-D image of the target. The scannerless 3-D imaging apparatus, which can operate in the eye-safe wavelength region 1.4-1.7 .mu.m and which can be constructed as a flash LADAR, has applications for vehicle collision avoidance, autonomous rendezvous and docking, robotic vision, industrial inspection and measurement, 3-D cameras, and facial recognition.
Sandusky; John V. (Albuquerque, NM)
Sandia Corporation (Albuquerque, NM)
11/ 477,248
June 29, 2006
GOVERNMENT RIGHTS This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.