Scannerless laser range imaging using loss modulation

Patent Number: 7,995,191
Issued: 8/9/2011
Official Filing: View the Complete Patent
Abstract: 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.
Filed: 6/29/2006
Application Number: 11/477,248
Government Interests: STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-NA0003525 awarded by the United States Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration. The Government has certain rights in the invention.