Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Multi-aperture imaging from Brussels

Following up on some more multi-aperture systems at the Applied Industrial Optics meeting, HeidiOttevaere and her team from Brussels discussed multiple such systems that replace wide angle fisheye lenses. Their multi-channel, multi-resolution system gives less distortion and allows flexible choices in image resolution and fields of view.  They combine two lens arrays in sequence, with baffles acting like channels in between. 

One of the designs from Heidi's team
Ref: Gebirie Y. Belay, Youri Meuret, Heidi Ottevaere,
Peter Veelaert, and Hugo Thienpont, "Design of
a multichannel, multiresolution smart imaging
system," Appl. Opt. 51, 4810-4817 (2012)

She showed two designs, one with three apertures – one with a large field of view and low resolution, one with a small field of view and high resolution and one channel with intermediate FOV and resolution. They used PMMA lenses with four aspheric surfaces in each channel. The alignment of this system was sensitive. In the second design they used only two channels eliminating the intermediate channel. They added a voltage tunable liquid lens in their high resolution subsystem to obtain refocusing capability and extend the depth of field. 

I really liked the fact that most of this work was done at a University, but many of their collaborators were industry. It's tough to do open collaborations like these.. both for students/professors and the industry. Examples like this team demonstrate learning, innovation and value all at once!  

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