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Tuesday, 03 December 2013 12:17

MIT develops 3D camera which works in the dark

Written by Nick Farrell



Night vision gets better

Researchers from MIT have managed to create a 3D camera which works in the dark. The technology gets its sharp images of dimly lit objects using photons, which are elementary particles that are not composed of smaller particles.

The hardware is not unusual but the software which gathers the information and stiches it together is new. Electrical engineer Ahmed Kirmani and his colleagues at the university developed an algorithm to look at correlations between neighbouring parts of an object lit by pulses of light as well as the science of low light measurements. The time it takes for photons from the laser pulses to be reflected back from the object and read by the detector, provides information about the depth of the object being examined.

A pulse is fired until a reflected photon is recorded by a detector and using the algorithm, each illuminated location is matched to a pixel in the image that is created. The time it takes for photons from the laser pulses to be reflected back from the object and read by the detector, provides information about the depth of the object being examined. At the moment the images are in black and white as the laser produces light of a single wavelength, but the device can pick out some different materials because of the rate they reflect the laser’s colour.

Nick Farrell

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