Single-pixel Three-Dimensional Laser Imager Using a Multi-wavelength Transmitter and Receiver


  • 2D and 3D imaging applications

Problem Addressed

To achieve higher resolution and improved capabilities such as facial recognition, there is a need for a 3D imaging system that operates with low timing jitter and good sensitivity.


The invention is a three-dimensional (3D) imaging system that uses a single transducer to detect pulses at different center frequencies to different spatial locations. A source generates a series of pulses with distinct center frequency. The pulses are coupled to a frequency-to-space converter which maps each pulse to a different spatial location based on the center frequency of the pulse. An aperture receives pulses scattered or reflected from objects at the spatial locations and couples the received pulses to a transducer, which converts the received pulses into electrical signals that represent a 3D image corresponding to the spatial locations. Suitable transducers include, but are not limited to, the transducers in Geiger-mode avalanche photodiodes, photomultiplier tubes, transition edge sensors, and superconducting nanowires.


  • Uses single transducer so there is no need for arrays of detectors
  • Has lower timing jitter than current 3D imaging systems 
  • Has better sensitivity  than current 3D imaging systems