Time-of-flight camera developed for space

On behalf of European Space Agency (ESA), Thales Alenia Space, Sintef and Terma are completing a study identifying alternatives to the cameras currently deployed on spacecrafts and space rovers.

Time-of-flight camera developed for space
Time-of-flight camera developed for space

On behalf of European Space Agency (ESA), Thales Alenia Space, Sintef and Terma are completing a study identifying alternatives to the cameras currently deployed on spacecrafts and space rovers.

In the previous decades, many 2-D cameras have been launched into space. But the new study hopes to identify the most promising 3-D technology for space missions.

French-Italian Thales Alenia Space has has mapped the requirements for the new 3-D camera. Based on these requirements, Sintef has evaluated a wide range of time-of-flight technologies, to determine their relative strengths and weaknesses in such a setting.

"In the course of next year, a prototype breadboard 3-D camera will be built. The next step then will be to test and evaluate the prototype,” says Henrik Schumann-Olsen of Sintef.

The Danish company Terma (Lystrup, Denmark) will build the prototype, which then will be tested and evaluated by ESA and all three companies.

Recent articles on time-of-flight cameras that you might also be interested in.

1. Time of flight provides cheaper technology option


Researchers led by MIT (Cambridge, MA, USA) Electrical engineering professor Vivek Goyal have developed a new time-of-flight (TOF) sensor that can acquire 3-D depth maps of scenes with high spatial resolution using just a single photodetector and no scanning components.

2. Time-of-flight camera captures images in 3-D

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (IIS; Erlangen, Germany) have developed an embedded multisensor camera system that can be used for making time-of-flight (ToF) measurements and performing 3-D data analysis.

3. Scottish startup develops camera that captures 3-D images at video rates

A startup based at the Scottish Microelectronics Centre has developed a camera that can capture 3-D images at video rates.

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