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Precise Image Information in Three Dimensions
3D camera for industrial applications uses laser of OSRAM Opto Semiconductors
OSRAM Opto Semiconductors' new infrared laser diode provides high optical power of about 0.5 Watt, even when in continuous wave operation. With a wavelength of about 845 nanometers the light is hardly visible to the human eye, and yet it is well within the sensibility range of the camera chip.
Three-dimensional cameras superimpose a two-dimensional picture with information on the range and surface profile of an object. Industrial applications for such systems are, for example, the gauging of fluid levels or the grading of objects according to size or shape. Three-dimensional sensors also provide reliable stereoscopic information, e.g. for the control of robot arms.
Fast Modulation yields high resolution
The camera FOTONIC C70 is based on a CMOS sensor and it makes use of the principle of time-of-flight measurement. A laser diode, which is integrated into the camera, transmits a light pulse which the target reflects back. Each of the 120x160 pixels of the camera chip records the distance to the object by measuring a respective phase shift compared to the emitted light pulse. The precision of this distance measurement and the range of the sensor increases with the modulating frequency of the light source. Due to their fast switching times of only a few nanoseconds, laser diodes are particularly well suited for this application. The laser diode, developed for this kind of 3D cameras is modulated with 44 MHz. Within the range of 0.1 to 7 meter, the camera measures distances with an accuracy of 3 up to 30 millimeter. For OSRAM Opto Semiconductors it is the first application of a laser diode in a 3D sensor of this type. Rickard Åström of FOTONIC is convinced of the laser's performance: "Together with OSRAM we've managed to increase the performance of our FOTONIC C70 Camera. We plan to use this component in future generations of our camera."
Dr. Jörg Heerlein, marketing manager for pulsed laser diodes at OSRAM Opto Semiconductors, predicts a growing market for such applications: "In industry, three-dimensional sensor technology is on the advance. This technology is becoming interesting for the consumer market and the automobile sector, too. To name a few applications, it is used for touch screens, or in sensors for accident avoidance systems in automobiles. We therefore designed this new laser diode specially for 3D sensor technology." The sturdy metal package of the component meets the demands for industrial applications. OSRAM Opto Semiconductors will present the laser together with the FOTONIC C70 3D camera at the Measurement Fair Sensor+Test 2011 in Nuremberg at the beginning of June.
FOTONIC is a company with a 100 head strong team for R&D and manufacturing focused on the use of time-of-flight (TOF) technology for three-dimensional imaging. Based on 35-years experience and knowledge in the fields of optronics and photonics, we offer cameras that enhance existing applications, or open the door to new ones. Serving all fields, our cameras for 3D imaging and positioning are developed to meet the highest demands of the industrial segment. Combining high performance and reliability, our range cameras are set in a robust hardware casing that enables top-notch performance, also in challenging and tough environments. FOTONIC is based in Stockholm, Sweden. For more informations go to: http://www.FOTONIC.com
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