Abstract

The state-of-the-art commercial telephoto lens has already provided us almost one giga space-bandwidth product. Since the single-image sensor cannot take such sampling capacity, we implement a four-parallel-boresight imaging system by using four such lenses and use 64 image sensors to complete full field of view (FOV) imaging for achieving 0.8 gigapixel over 15.6°×10.5°. Multiple sensors mosaicking can make most online computation and data transfer in parallel, and help us to realize a gigapixel video camera. Meanwhile, according to the four-parallel-boresight configuration, the flat image plane simplifies the image registration and image stitching, and allows us to keep high imaging performance in full frame following geometric and optical calibration and correction. Furthermore, considering that working distance changes do bring additional x/y offsets between sensor arrays, we propose a computation-based method and introduce an eight-axis automatic motion mechanism into the system to perform the online active displacement. Our prototype camera using 16 sensors has been validated in 50 m indoor conditions and 145 m outdoor condition experiments, respectively. The effective angular resolution under the 0.2 giga 24 Hz video output is 18 μrad, which is two times the lens instantaneous FOV. Compared with other gigapixel cameras, it is superior in terms of optical system simplicity and cost efficiency, which would potentially benefit numerous unmanned aerial vehicle photogrammetric applications that pursue high angular resolution over moderate FOV.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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