How to See Around Corners
The light collected by a camera consists of multiple components: The direct component of light that traveled directly from a surface in the scene to the camera and many multibounce components made up of light that has been reflected more than once within the scene. The direct component carries the information about things in the line of sight of the camera. It is used to form a normal camera image. The multibounce components contain additional information about other objects that the light reflected off on it’s path from a light source to the camera.
Non-Line-of-Sight (NLOS) Imaging systems reconstruct images of scenes using this indirect light from reflections off a diffuse relay surface, like a wall or the ground. After illuminating the relay surface with short pulses, the returning light is detected with single photon cameras that have enough time resolution to resolve the motion of light. We thereby capture video of the light propagation in the visible scene and reconstruct images of hidden parts of the scene.
This method has potential practical applications for imaging into caves, assessment of infrastructure like buildings from the air, scouting of caves for potential human habitation on moon and mars, collision avoidance, robot navigation and path planning, as well as disaster response, military reconnaissance , and law enforcement.
Andreas Velten is Assistant Professor at the Department of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics and the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and directs the Computational Optics Group. He obtained his PhD with Prof. Jean-Claude Diels in Physics at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and was a postdoctoral associate of the Camera Culture Group at the MIT Media Lab. He has included in the MIT TR35 list of the world’s top innovators under the age of 35 and is a senior member of NAI, OSA, and SPIE as well as a member of Sigma Xi. He is co-Founder of Onlume, a company that develops surgical imaging systems, and Ubicept, a company developing single photon imaging solutions.
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