Researchers at Northwestern University in the United States have developed a new high-resolution holographic camera that can see through objects and around corners, including human skin, the human skull, and even fog.
Mashable reported that the camera uses a new technology dubbed “Synthetic wavelength holography,” which scatters coherent light indirectly onto hidden objects, which then scatters again and is captured by the camera, in an article published in the journal Nature Communications.
An algorithm reconstructs the scattered light data gathered to reveal the hidden objects. Due to its great temporal resolution, the camera can also record photographs of fast-moving objects, automobiles traveling at high speeds, and beating hearts through the chest.
Several research studies in the field of non-line-of-sight imaging, or NLoS imaging, have been conducted with the goal of capturing photographs of things that are hidden from view. The new approach developed by Northwestern University researchers can produce photos with significantly higher resolution than previous attempts, allowing the cameras to see through skin and even record photographs of the tiny blood vessels.
In a news release, Florian Willomitzer, principal author of the work and a researcher at Northwestern University, said, “Our technique will herald in a new generation of imaging possibilities.” “While our present sensor prototypes employ visible or infrared light, the principle is general and may be applied to other wavelengths,” says the researcher. The same technology might be used to image radio waves for space exploration or underwater acoustic imaging, for example. It can be used in a variety of situations, and we’ve only scratched the surface.”
Although collecting photos from around a corner and imaging the insides of the body may appear to be completely different difficulties, researchers say they are actually fairly similar. Willomitzer and his colleagues combined light waves from two lasers to create a synthetic light wave that can be adjusted to holographic imaging in various scattering circumstances, eliminating the requirement for fast detectors.
Many NLoS imaging attempts to recover images of hidden objects have been made over the years. However, these methods frequently have one or more flaws. They have limited resolution, a small angular field of view, a time-consuming raster scan, or huge probing areas to measure the dispersed light signal.
The new technique, on the other hand, overcomes these limitations and is the first method for imaging around corners and through scattering media to combine high spatial resolution, high temporal resolution, a tiny probing area, and a large angular field of view. This means that the camera can detect little details and hidden things in limited environments.