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Proceedings Paper

Diode laser illuminators for night-vision applications
Author(s): Jeffrey T. Remillard; Willes H. Weber; Timothy Fohl
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Paper Abstract

We describe a prototype night vision system for automotive applications that uses a high power near-infrared (NIR) diode laser, compact optics, and a CCD camera. Because NIR radiation is invisible to the human eye, a high-beam illumination pattern can be formed permitting a clear view of objects on both sides of the roadway, even in the presence of oncoming traffic. A narrow band-pass filter in front of the camera passes only the laser wavelength and prevents blooming of the image due to the headlights of other vehicles. This system permits drivers to see objects at night (such as debris or pedestrians) that are in close proximity to oncoming vehicles. The diode laser operates at 810 nm and emits 5 - 10 W. The illuminator distributes the laser light using a combination of refractive, reflective, and holographic optics in a manner that meets the standards for Maximum Permissible Exposure. We discuss the performance of our prototype system as a function of laser power and camera field-of-view and sensitivity, and we provide comparisons with a commercially available automotive night-vision system that uses a thermal-imaging camera.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 May 2001
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 4285, Testing, Reliability, and Applications of Optoelectronic Devices, (17 May 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.426882
Show Author Affiliations
Jeffrey T. Remillard, Ford Motor Co. (United States)
Willes H. Weber, Ford Motor Co. (United States)
Timothy Fohl, Technology Integration Group, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4285:
Testing, Reliability, and Applications of Optoelectronic Devices
Aland K. Chin; S. C. Wang; Niloy K. Dutta; Niloy K. Dutta; Kurt J. Linden; S. C. Wang, Editor(s)

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