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Passive Micron-Scale Time-of-Flight With Sunlight Interferometry

Alankar Kotwal · Anat Levin · Ioannis Gkioulekas

West Building Exhibit Halls ABC 001
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We introduce an interferometric technique for passive time-of-flight imaging and depth sensing at micrometer axial resolutions. Our technique uses a full-field Michelson interferometer, modified to use sunlight as the only light source. The large spectral bandwidth of sunlight makes it possible to acquire micrometer-resolution time-resolved scene responses, through a simple axial scanning operation. Additionally, the angular bandwidth of sunlight makes it possible to capture time-of-flight measurements insensitive to indirect illumination effects, such as interreflections and subsurface scattering. We build an experimental prototype that we operate outdoors, under direct sunlight, and in adverse environment conditions such as machine vibrations and vehicle traffic. We use this prototype to demonstrate, for the first time, passive imaging capabilities such as micrometer-scale depth sensing robust to indirect illumination, direct-only imaging, and imaging through diffusers.

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