OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: Joseph N. Mait
  • Vol. 49, Iss. 23 — Aug. 10, 2010
  • pp: 4392–4403

Improved measurement linearity and precision for AMCW time-of-flight range imaging cameras

Andrew D. Payne, Adrian A. Dorrington, Michael J. Cree, and Dale A. Carnegie  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 49, Issue 23, pp. 4392-4403 (2010)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (950 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



Time-of-flight range imaging systems utilizing the amplitude modulated continuous wave (AMCW) technique often suffer from measurement nonlinearity due to the presence of aliased harmonics within the amplitude modulation signals. Typically a calibration is performed to correct these errors. We demonstrate an alternative phase encoding approach that attenuates the harmonics during the sampling process, thereby improving measurement linearity in the raw measurements. This mitigates the need to measure the system’s response or calibrate for environmental changes. In conjunction with improved linearity, we demonstrate that measurement precision can also be increased by reducing the duty cycle of the amplitude modulated illumination source (while maintaining overall illumination power).

© 2010 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(110.6880) Imaging systems : Three-dimensional image acquisition
(120.2920) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Homodyning
(120.5050) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Phase measurement
(150.5670) Machine vision : Range finding
(150.6910) Machine vision : Three-dimensional sensing
(280.3640) Remote sensing and sensors : Lidar

ToC Category:
Imaging Systems

Original Manuscript: March 11, 2010
Revised Manuscript: July 7, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: July 8, 2010
Published: August 5, 2010

Andrew D. Payne, Adrian A. Dorrington, Michael J. Cree, and Dale A. Carnegie, "Improved measurement linearity and precision for AMCW time-of-flight range imaging cameras," Appl. Opt. 49, 4392-4403 (2010)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. R. Lange, “3D time-of-flight distance measurement with custom solid-state image sensors in CMOS/CCD-technology,” Ph.D. dissertation (University of Siegen, 2000).
  2. T. Kahlmann and H. Ingensand, “High-precision investigations of the fast range imaging camera SwissRanger,” Proc. SPIE 6758, 67580J (2007). [CrossRef]
  3. M. Lindner and A. Kolb, “Lateral and depth calibration of PMD-distance sensors,” in Advances in Visual Computing, Part II, Vol. 4292 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science (Springer, 2006), pp. 524–533. [CrossRef]
  4. C. Niclass, C. Favi, T. Kluter, F. Monnier, and E. Charbon, “Single-photon synchronous detection,” IEEE J. Solid-State Circuits 44, 1977–1989 (2009). [CrossRef]
  5. H. Rapp, M. Frank, F. A. Hamprecht, and B. Jahne, “A theoretical and experimental investigation of the systematic errors and statistical uncertainties of time-of-flight-cameras,” IJISTA 5, 402–413 (2008). [CrossRef]
  6. S. Hsu, S. Acharya, A. Rafii, and R. New, “Performance of a time-of-flight range camera for intelligent vehicle safety applications,” in Advanced Microsystems for Automotive Applications 2006 (Springer, 2006), pp. 205–214. [CrossRef]
  7. A. A. Dorrington, M. J. Cree, D. A. Carnegie, A. D. Payne, R. M. Conroy, J. P. Godbaz, and A. P. P. Jongenelen, “Video-rate or high-precision: a flexible range imaging camera,” Proc. SPIE 6813, 681307 (2008). [CrossRef]
  8. A. A. Dorrington, M. J. Cree, A. D. Payne, R. M. Conroy, and D. A. Carnegie, “Achieving sub-millimetre precision with a solid-state full-field heterodyning range imaging camera,” Meas. Sci. Technol. 18, 2809–2816 (2007). [CrossRef]
  9. B. Büttgen and P. Seitz, “Robust optical time-of-flight range imaging based on smart pixel structures,” IEEE Trans. Circuits Syst. I 55, 1512–1525 (2008). [CrossRef]
  10. B. Büttgen, T. Oggier, R. Kaufmann, P. Seitz, and N. Blanc, “Demonstration of a novel drift field pixel structure for the demodulation of modulated light waves with application in three-dimensional image capture,” Proc. SPIE 5302, 9–20 (2004). [CrossRef]
  11. R. Schwarte, “Breakthrough in multichannel laser-radar technology providing thousands of high-sensitive lidar receivers on a chip,” Proc. SPIE 5575, 126–136 (2004). [CrossRef]
  12. E. Schubert, Light-Emitting Diodes (Cambridge U. Press, 2006). [CrossRef]
  13. A. D. Payne, A. A. Dorrington, M. J. Cree, and D. A. Carnegie, “Characterization of modulated time-of-flight range image sensors,” Proc. SPIE 7239, 723904 (2009). [CrossRef]
  14. A. D. Payne, A. A. Dorrington, M. J. Cree, and D. A. Carnegie, “Characterizing an image intensifier in a full-field range imaging system,” IEEE Sens. J. 8, 1763–1770 (2008). [CrossRef]
  15. A. A. Dorrington, M. J. Cree, D. A. Carnegie, and A. D. Payne, “Selecting signal frequencies for best performance of Fourier-based phase detection,” in Proceedings of Twelfth New Zealand Electronics Conference (Manukau Institute of Technology, 2005), pp. 189–193.
  16. M. Lindner, A. Kolb, and T. Ringbeck, “New insights into the calibration of ToF-sensors,” in Proceedings of IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (IEEE, 2008), pp. 1–5.
  17. A. D. Payne, A. A. Dorrington, M. J. Cree, and D. A. Carnegie, “Improved linearity using harmonic error rejection in a full-field range imaging system,” Proc. SPIE 6805, 68050D (2008). [CrossRef]
  18. A. D. Payne and A. A. Dorrington, “Signal simulation apparatus and method,” patent WO 2009/051499 (23 April 2009), http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/en/wo.jsp?WO=2009051499.
  19. A. C. Davies, “Digital generation of low-frequency sine waves,” IEEE Trans. Instrum. Meas. 18, 97–105 (1969). [CrossRef]
  20. J. A. Weldon, R. S. Narayanaswami, J. C. Rudell, L. Lin, M. Otsuka, S. Dedieu, L. Tee, K. C. Tsai, C. W. Lee, and P. R. Gray, “A 1.75 GHz highly integrated narrow-band CMOS transmitter with harmonic-rejection mixers,” IEEE J. Solid-State Circuits 36, 2003–2015 (2001). [CrossRef]
  21. Z. Xu, R. Schwarte, H. Heinol, B. Buxbaum, and T. Ringbeck, “Smart pixel–photonic mixer device (PMD),” in Proceedings of M2VIP ’98—International Conference on Mechatronics and Machine Vision in Practice (1998), pp. 259–264. [PubMed]
  22. T. Spirig, M. Marley, and P. Seitz, “The multitap lock-in CCD with offset subtraction,” IEEE Trans. Electron Devices 44, 1643–1647 (1997). [CrossRef]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited