We demonstrate a novel method that employs a frame-accumulation and shaped-function technique to improve an image sensor’s detection sensitivity using probability statistics. It can obtain the unbiased estimate for the low-light-level image signal, thus upgrading the signal-to-noise ratio to a high degree. It was verified by an experiment in a sealed box. By the help of a variable light beam–shaped function saw-tooth signal in front of a camera, the low-light-level shadow image that was invisible to the camera could be revealed clearly from the frame accumulation data. The method can surpass an image sensor’s detection limitation.
© 2012 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: December 6, 2011
Revised Manuscript: February 10, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: February 15, 2012
Published: April 11, 2012
Gang Li, Hongying Tang, Dongsung Kim, Jean Gao, and Ling Lin, "Employment of frame accumulation and shaped function for upgrading low-light-level image detection sensitivity," Opt. Lett. 37, 1361-1363 (2012)