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Parallel phase-sensitive three-dimensional imaging camera

United States Patent

September 25, 2007
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
An apparatus is disclosed for generating a three-dimensional (3-D) image of a scene illuminated by a pulsed light source (e.g. a laser or light-emitting diode). The apparatus, referred to as a phase-sensitive 3-D imaging camera utilizes a two-dimensional (2-D) array of photodetectors to receive light that is reflected or scattered from the scene and processes an electrical output signal from each photodetector in the 2-D array in parallel using multiple modulators, each having inputs of the photodetector output signal and a reference signal, with the reference signal provided to each modulator having a different phase delay. The output from each modulator is provided to a computational unit which can be used to generate intensity and range information for use in generating a 3-D image of the scene. The 3-D camera is capable of generating a 3-D image using a single pulse of light, or alternately can be used to generate subsequent 3-D images with each additional pulse of light.
Smithpeter; Colin L. (Albuquerque, NM), Hoover; Eddie R. (Sandia Park, NM), Pain; Bedabrata (Los Angeles, CA), Hancock; Bruce R. (Altadena, CA), Nellums; Robert O. (Albuquerque, NM)
Sandia Corporation (Albuquerque, NM), California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, CA)
10/ 681,961
October 9, 2003
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.