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Super Resolving Imaging System

The Invention

The Super Resolving Imaging System is capable of increasing the effective diameter of the lens by a magnitude of between 4 and 16, enabling weight and cost reductions in an imaging system with no loss in output quality.  The system works on a method of enhancing the spatial frequencies of the subject.

Its primary application is to improve imaging systems. In collision warning systems for vehicles the Super Resolving Imaging System greatly improves the speed of distance estimation in the fields. The system also provides an apparatus for estimating distance that affords wide depth of focus and a large horizontal field of view. 

Potential Applications

Super Resolving Imaging Systems are especially useful for Imaging Systems and Vision-Aid devices requiring high resolutions and minimal dimensions. Such systems are in use in the military and industry. The system can also be modified to enhance the electromagnetic transmission of phase arrays in radar systems. 

The Need

The Super Resolving Imaging System is capable of creating a synthetic lens aperture larger than the true existing aperture of the system. Special optical elements placed on the imaging lens and the detector array allow for the conversion of degrees of freedom in one axis of a field of view to a larger degree of freedom in another axis. This allows the system to obtain a high resolution image with a wide depth of focus and large field of view, making it suitable for performing distance estimation on an object within the field of view. The invention employs a numerical algorithm which is simple and can be rapidly performed to yield the desired result.

The increased effective diameter of the lens is achieved by transmitting the spatial frequencies of the object using the time, frequency, polarization, code or the wavelengths’ domains. These enhanced spatial frequencies are passed through the lens aperture and are restored at the detector itself via low computational algorithms and this produces the highly resolved image. Super Resolving technology can also extend the depth of focus of the imaging system.

In certain applications, such as vehicular warning systems, the vertical field of view required is significantly smaller than the actual vertical field of view of the apparatus. The Super Resolving Imaging System converts the unneeded vertical pixels (degrees of freedom) into an increased depth of focus resolution. In an alternate configuration of the system, the distance estimation is performed by employing two cameras. A triangulation calculation is performed in order to extract the distance of the object seen by both cameras.

Advantages

The implementation of Super Resolving Imaging Systems requires simple additions to the initial assembly of the imaging devices. One addition is a simple and cheap multiplexing device (such as grating), and the other is additional computational power to the device’s DSP, in order to carry out the decoding process. In many applications the decoding could be an optical processor without involving digital processing at all.

Patent

Granted US