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Time of flight 3D imaging through multimode optical fibres

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posted on 2023-01-12, 13:38 authored by Daan Stellinga, David B. Phillips, Simon Peter Mekhail, Adam Selyem, Sergey Turtaev, Tomáš Čižmár, Miles J. Padgett
Time-of-flight (ToF) 3D imaging has a wealth of applications, from industrial inspection to movement tracking and gesture recognition. Depth information is recovered by measuring the round-trip flight time of laser pulses, which usually requires projection and collection optics with diameters of several centimetres. In this work we shrink this requirement by two orders of magnitude, and demonstrate near video-rate 3D imaging through multimode optical fibres (MMFs) - the width of a strand of human hair. Unlike conventional imaging systems, MMFs exhibit exceptionally complex light transport resembling that of a highly scattering medium. To overcome this complication, we implement high-speed aberration correction using wavefront shaping synchronised with a pulsed laser source, enabling random-access scanning of the scene at a rate of $\sim$23,000 points per second. Using non-ballistic light we image moving objects several metres beyond the end of a $\sim$40 cm long MMF of 50$\mu$m core diameter, with millimetric depth resolution, at frame-rates of $\sim$5Hz. Our work extends far-field depth resolving capabilities to ultra-thin micro-endoscopes, and will have a broad range of applications to clinical and remote inspection scenarios.



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