Curved Sensor Do-It-Yourself Tutorial

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

OSA Optics Express publishes Microsoft and HRL Labs open-access paper "Highly curved image sensors: a practical approach for improved optical performance" by Brian Guenter, Neel Joshi, Richard Stoakley, Andrew Keefe, Kevin Geary, Ryan Freeman, Jake Hundley, Pamela Patterson, David Hammon, Guillermo Herrera, Elena Sherman, Andrew Nowak, Randall Schubert, Peter Brewer, Louis Yang, Russell Mott, and Geoff McKnight. Form the abstract"

"The significant optical and size benefits of using a curved focal surface for imaging systems have been well studied yet never brought to market for lack of a high-quality, mass-producible, curved image sensor. In this work we demonstrate that commercial silicon CMOS image sensors can be thinned and formed into accurate, highly curved optical surfaces with undiminished functionality.

We demonstrate these curved sensors in prototype cameras with custom lenses, measuring exceptional resolution of 3220 line-widths per picture height at an aperture of f/1.2 and nearly 100% relative illumination across the field. Though we use a 1/2.3” format image sensor in this report, we also show this process is generally compatible with many state of the art imaging sensor formats. By example, we report photogrammetry test data for an APS-C sized silicon die formed to a 30° subtended spherical angle. These gains in sharpness and relative illumination enable a new generation of ultra-high performance, manufacturable, digital imaging systems for scientific, industrial, and artistic use.
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