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Proceedings Paper

3D-TOF sensors in the automobile
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Paper Abstract

In recent years, pervasive computing has become an important topic in automobile industry. Besides well-known driving assistant systems such as ABS, ASR and ESP several small tools that support driving activities were developed. The most important reason for integrating new technologies is to increase the safety of passengers as well as road users. The Centre Suisse d'Electronique et de Microtechnique SA (CSEM) Zurich presented the CMOS/CCD real-time range-imaging technology, a measurement principle with a wide field of applications in automobiles. The measuring system is based on the time-of-flight measurement principle using actively modulated radiation. Thereby, the radiation is emitted by the camera's illumination system, reflected by objects in the field of view and finally imaged on the CMOS/CCD sensor by the optics. From the acquired radiation, the phase delay and hence the target distance is derived within each individual pixel. From these distance measurements, three-dimensional coordinates can then be calculated. The imaging sensor acquires its environment data in a high-frequency mode and is therefore appropriate for real-time applications. The basis for decisions which contribute to the increased safety is thus available. In this contribution, first the operational principle of the sensor technology is outlined. Further, some implementations of the technology are presented. At the laboratories of the Institute of Geodesy and Photogrammetry (IGP) at ETH Zurich an implementation of the above mentioned measurement principle, the SwissRanger, was investigated in detail. Special attention was focused on the characteristics of this sensor and its calibration. Finally, sample applications within the automobile are introduced.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 February 2005
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5663, Photonics in the Automobile, (16 February 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.607261
Show Author Affiliations
Timo Kahlmann, ETH Zurich (Switzerland)
Thierry Oggier, Ctr. Suisse d'Electronique et de Microtechnique SA (Switzerland)
Felix Lustenberger, Ctr. Suisse d'Electronique et de Microtechnique SA (Switzerland)
Nicolas Blanc, Ctr. Suisse d'Electronique et de Microtechnique SA (Switzerland)
Hilmar Ingensand, ETH Zurich (Switzerland)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5663:
Photonics in the Automobile
Thomas P. Pearsall, Editor(s)

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