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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 20, Iss. 11 — May. 21, 2012
  • pp: 11863–11881

Design and characterization of a 256x64-pixel single-photon imager in CMOS for a MEMS-based laser scanning time-of-flight sensor

Cristiano Niclass, Kota Ito, Mineki Soga, Hiroyuki Matsubara, Isao Aoyagi, Satoru Kato, and Manabu Kagami  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 20, Issue 11, pp. 11863-11881 (2012)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.20.011863


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Abstract

We introduce an optical time-of-flight image sensor taking advantage of a MEMS-based laser scanning device. Unlike previous approaches, our concept benefits from the high timing resolution and the digital signal flexibility of single-photon pixels in CMOS to allow for a nearly ideal cooperation between the image sensor and the scanning device. This technique enables a high signal-to-background light ratio to be obtained, while simultaneously relaxing the constraint on size of the MEMS mirror. These conditions are critical for devising practical and low-cost depth sensors intended to operate in uncontrolled environments, such as outdoors. A proof-of-concept prototype capable of operating in real-time was implemented. This paper focuses on the design and characterization of a 256x64-pixel image sensor, which also comprises an event-driven readout circuit, an array of 64 row-level high-throughput time-to-digital converters, and a 16Gbit/s global readout circuit. Quantitative evaluation of the sensor under 2klux of background light revealed a repeatability error of 13.5cm throughout the distance range of 20 meters.

© 2012 OSA

OCIS Codes
(110.6880) Imaging systems : Three-dimensional image acquisition
(270.5570) Quantum optics : Quantum detectors
(280.3400) Remote sensing and sensors : Laser range finder
(280.3640) Remote sensing and sensors : Lidar
(250.1345) Optoelectronics : Avalanche photodiodes (APDs)

ToC Category:
Remote Sensing

History
Original Manuscript: March 8, 2012
Revised Manuscript: April 21, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: April 21, 2012
Published: May 10, 2012

Citation
Cristiano Niclass, Kota Ito, Mineki Soga, Hiroyuki Matsubara, Isao Aoyagi, Satoru Kato, and Manabu Kagami, "Design and characterization of a 256x64-pixel single-photon imager in CMOS for a MEMS-based laser scanning time-of-flight sensor," Opt. Express 20, 11863-11881 (2012)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-20-11-11863


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