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Toward-1mm depth precision with a solid state full-field range imaging system

Previously, we demonstrated a novel heterodyne based solid-state full-field range-finding imaging system. This system is comprised of modulated LED illumination, a modulated image intensifier, and a digital video camera. A 10 MHz drive is provided with 1 Hz difference between the LEDs and image intensifier. A sequence of images of the resulting beating intensifier output are captured and processed to determine phase and hence distance to the object for each pixel. In a previous publication, we detailed results showing a one-sigma precision of 15 mm to 30 mm (depending on signal strength). Furthermore, we identified the limitations of the system and potential improvements that were expected to result in a range precision in the order of 1 mm. These primarily include increasing the operating frequency and improving optical coupling and sensitivity. In this paper, we report on the implementation of these improvements and the new system characteristics. We also comment on the factors that are important for high precision image ranging and present configuration strategies for best performance. Ranging with sub-millimeter precision is demonstrated by imaging a planar surface and calculating the deviations from a planar fit. The results are also illustrated graphically by imaging a garden gnome.
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Adrian A. Dorrington, Dale A. Carnegie and Michael J. Cree, "Toward-1mm depth precision with a solid state full-field range imaging system," Sensors, Cameras, and Systems for Scientific/Industrial Applications VII, Morley M. Blouke, Editor, Proc. SPIE, 6068, 60680K, (2006).
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