Friday, July 29, 2011

Lens-Less Fourier Domain Camera

Nuit Blanche posted an interesting link and comments on the recent OSA Optics Letters paper proposing lens-less image capture in Fourier domain:

A Micro-Scale Camera Using Direct Fourier-Domain Scene Capture
Patrick Gill, Changhyuk Lee, Dhon-Gue Lee, Albert Wang, and Alyosha Molnar
Cornell University

We demonstrate chip-scale (< 1mm2) sensor, the Planar Fourier Capture Array (PFCA), capable of imaging the far field without any off-chip optics. The PFCA consists of an array of angle-sensitive pixels manufactured in a standard semiconductor process, each of which reports one component of a spatial 2D Fourier transform of the local light field. Thus, the sensor directly captures 2D Fourier transforms of scenes. The effective resolution of our prototype is approximately 400 pixels.

Here is the Fourier pixel idea:

Thanks to IC for sending me the link!


  1. Title has Fourier misspelled

  2. I am not certain it is a miss-spelling... after all, the images do look a bit furry. :)

  3. There are Fourier & Fourrier. joseph fourier & charles fourrier. One is scientist and the other is revolutionary.

  4. The misspelling was Furrier - a third meaning, quite funny.

  5. What is the definition of a camera for these guys?


    Some comments.


  7. What is the effective QE reduciton for this "camera system" for a given effective f-stop?

  8. This is another fascinating bit of image sensor technology, much more interesting than another pie chart of projected shares of future market segment revenues.

    Here it looks like there's a trade-off between hardware and software. You eliminate the costs of a lens system in front of the imaging chip, but pick up heavy costs for back-end computation. More specifically, to me it resembles a phased-array radar quite a bit, and if I recall correctly, the game there is using sophisticated post-processing to extract point-source direction and intensity maps from measured Fourier-domain point spread functions. As with last week's neural-prosthetic-imager material, I'd say there are lots of fun research issues, but a priori a low probability of commercial viability.

  9. Lens is so beautiful!

  10. Congrats for doing a great work. For detecting a single angle position how many ASPs do u need? Or how many angle positions does a single ASP could detect?


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