Imaging light in flight
Imaging light in flight

How can you see around corners without looking?

Traditional cameras image the 2D intensity of a scene by measuring how much light is reflected.

QuantIC is developing camera systems that not only tell how bright the image at a particular position, but also how far away that particular bit of the object is. Light bounces off surfaces onto another and then bounces again and we take advantage of this property to probe an object that is located around an obstacle (around a corner or behind a wall). After multiple bounces, a very small amount of light that has interacted with the object around the corner will fall within the line of sight of the camera.

The object location is obtained by measuring how long it take for “light in flight” to bounce off the object and come back to the camera. Such timing systems can work at ranges from metres to kilometres.

Automatic ranging of this kind can be used in the 3D profiling of historic sites or form the basis of collision avoidance for improved vehicle safety.

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