TR2018-138

High-Resolution Lidar Using Random Demodulation



Recently emerging applications, such as autonomous navigation, mapping, and home entertainment, have increased the demand for inexpensive and high quality depth sensing. In this paper we fundamentally re-examine the problem, considering recent advances in photoelectric devices, increased availability of fast electronics, reduced computation cost, and developments in sensing theory.
Our main contribution is a real-time hardware architecture for time-of-flight (ToF) depth sensors that exploits random modulation to significantly reduce the acquisition burden. The proposed design is able to acquire compressive, critical, or redundant measurements, without requiring any hardware modifications, at the expense of small reduction in the system frame rate. The architecture we propose is sufficiently flexible to be operable in a variety of conditions and with a variety of reconstruction algorithms.