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Spie Press Book

Introduction to Panoramic Lenses
Author(s): Claudio Pernechele
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Book Description

This Spotlight provides an overview of panoramic lenses, including past research, relevant patents, and an analysis of the optical physics involved. The book also compares panoramic lenses currently on the market.

Book Details

Date Published: 9 May 2018
Pages: 62
ISBN: 9781510619890
Volume: SL38

Table of Contents
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1 Panoramic Vision of the World
1.1 Omnidirectional lens image formation

2 History of Panoramic Systems

3 Maps of the Panorama
3.1 Hyperbolic mirror
3.2 Common mapping functions
3.3 Other mapping functions
3.4 Panoramic lens plate scale

4 Optics of Panoramic Lenses
4.1 Optical performance of mirror-based panoramic lenses
4.2 Single-reflection catadiopter
     4.2.1 Optical recipe
4.3 Double-reflection catadiopter
4.4 Realization of a double-reflection panoramic lens

5 Hyperhemispheric Lenses
5.1 Realization of a hyperhemispheric lens
     5.1.1 Hyperhemispheric lens mapping function and plate scale

6 Bifocal Panoramic Lenses
6.1 Realization of a bifocal panoramic lens

7 Afocal Panoramic Lenses
7.1 Afocal plastic lenses

8 Infrared Panoramic Lenses

9 Panoramic Lens Applications
9.1 Space applications
9.2 Mobile mapping systems
9.3 Video surveillance
9.4 Pipe inspection
9.5 Unmanned vehicle
9.6 Automotive
9.7 Entertainment


The possibility of capturing panoramic scenery has attracted opticians since the beginning of the 20th century. Panoramic annular lenses, multi-camera systems, and dynamic scene capture have been used to achieve panorama. This Spotlight focuses on omnidirectional lenses, i.e., lenses that can capture whole scenarios using only one lens. The introduction of digital sensors into the mass market at the end of the last century permitted the development of useful applications of such optics. In fact, a panoramic image as produced by a lens is "unintelligible" to an observer, and strong optical distortions must be corrected. The introduction of digital sensors replaced the previously "analogic" (film) sensors so that image distortions could be corrected (de-warped) in an easy and real-time way. This factor makes panoramic omnidirectional lenses useful in many applications.

Claudio Pernechele
April 2018

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