SBIR Phase II: Novel 3D Measurement and Imaging System

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Award Year:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Phase II
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
TetraVue, Inc.
663 S Rancho Santa Fe Rd #316, San Marcos, CA, 92078-3973
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Paul Banks
(858) 243-0700
Business Contact:
Paul Banks
(858) 243-0700
Research Institution:

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project will build upon the success of Phase I which demonstrated the feasibility of a high resolution three-dimensional (3D) imaging system, based on a new technology that allows simultaneous 3D coordinate measurement and high resolution imagery using commercial off-the-shelf Charge-Coupled Device (CCD) or Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) sensors. Although stereoscopic 3D images and movies have existed for over 100 years, only recently have 3D laser scanners which can reach 1 mm accuracies for single points at ranges of tens of meters and triangulation systems which can achieve 0.1 mm accuracies at ranges up to 2 m been developed. These systems produce no images and must assemble a collection of single 3D points over time. Phase I demonstrated the ability to capture 3D images using a 6 megapixel focal plane array with sub-centimeter accuracy and identified areas where further improvement can be achieved. The Phase II effort will implement these improvements but will focus on the engineering, miniaturization and fabrication of a 3D camera prototype which has performance and a form-factor traceable to the alpha version of a commercial 3D survey-grade instrument. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project will benefit multiple industries, from aerospace to industrial surveying to movie and game special effects, by providing the new capability to record and measure objects, motion and scenes in three dimensions with imagery and in real-time. Current technology, e.g. 3D laser scanners and motion capture systems, used to capture 3D coordinates of objects and surfaces is slow, difficult to use, and either can only be used on static objects or requires special suits and sound stages with limited resolution. Despite the difficulty and associated high cost, the value of 3D data is such that its use in 3D industrial survey has been growing at 40% per year, reaching $425M in 2008. The high resolution 3D camera technology subject of this SBIR has been demonstrated in Phase I to have the potential to increase the acquisition speed by 100X over current solutions while reducing total data collection and processing costs by 10X. While this speed and resolution improvement will have a large impact on current markets, the capability to have high resolution images of moving objects with 3D coordinate measurements at each pixel enables a large number of new markets such as 3D biometrics, security, cost-effective digital heritage preservation, real-time measurement of 3D trajectories and robotic vision.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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