Researchers Develop Camera That Uses Photon ‘Echoes’ To Detect Objects

Researchers Develop Camera That Uses Photon ‘Echoes’ To Detect Objects

Researchers developed a unique ultra fast camera that has the potential to detect moving objects around corners. It can even find things that are kept hidden from its view. Its makers believe that it can be used in search and rescue operations.

The team that presented its findings in journal Nature Photonics, said their method relies on the laser range-finding technology, which measures the distance to an object based on the time it takes a pulse of light to travel to the object, scatter, and travel back to a detector.

According to team leader, Professor Daniele Faccio, who works at the University’s School of Engineering & Physical Sciences, the camera can log the position of a photon in a 32 by 32 grid at 20 billion frames per second. A photon is a particle representing a quantum of light.

The researchers, for their study, used a 30-centimetre-high foam model that looks like a small human, nicknamed ‘Terry’. The camera sees ‘Terry’ when the second spherical echo of photons expands beyond the corner.

According to its makers, the superfast camera was able to see around corners and no matter where Terry hides the camera was able to see him. The camera cannot locate objects by capturing just a single echo, because the photons also bounce off several non-moving objects, such as the wall.

Camera tracks echos and works out location of object as soon as the photons in the second spherical echo, the one expanding around the hidden object, come into the field of view of the camera, it will detect it.

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