Sub-Pixel Resolution For Improved Image Quality

As 3D imaging continues to become increasingly important in both research and industry, tools are becoming available to turn theoretical research into practical technology. Our systems are well positioned to do this, and we are now in the process of enabling sub-pixel resolution to achieve even higher levels of 3D image quality.

A key limitation of optical instruments is the size of the sensor’s pixels. When features being imaged are smaller than the pixel size, typical responses are to use a more expensive sensor with more pixels per unit area or to modify the optical design of the imaging system. However, with sub-pixel resolution methods we can achieve higher resolution with software alone.

A number of algorithms have been developed in academia to accomplish this, and in recent years there have been several new developments with these processes are being researched in a variety of fields. However, setup remains problematic, and the time required to implement a sub-pixel solution is a barrier to widespread use.

With the AJD-4500 DMD Controller we are able to control each individual micromirror on the DMD chip being used, making the system flexible and practical. Our 3D imaging system makes use of that DMD control to synchronize with a smart camera for fast high-resolution imaging. Sub-pixel imaging results in a 4-fold increase in spatial resolution, and associated depth accuracy measurements.

We would like to thank the Government of Canada for their support in this research via the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP), which has been an invaluable resource in this pursuit.