Quantum ghost imaging

Imaging of an object through smoke or fog via correlations between photons, sound, or quantum particles

Photonics Sensors

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Scientists at the Army Research Laboratory have recently invented a system for creating an image using the quantum properties of sound or quantum particles. The patented technology is available via patent license agreement to companies that would make, use, or sell it commercially.

The ability to image distant objects through smoke or clouds is a problem that plagues satellite imaging analysts, firefighters, drivers, oceanographers, astronomers, military personnel, and medical personnel. Improving resolution in each of these exemplary instances represents an opportunity to derive more information from images and presumably the decisions made from such images. By way of example, improved resolution in x-ray or endoscopy medical imagery facilitates lower radiation dosing and diagnosis of abnormal morphologies earlier than currently possible with conventional imaging methodologies.

Conventional imaging techniques have, to a large extent, arrived at the theoretical limits of image resolution owing to wavelength-limited resolution, optical element distortions, and the reflective interaction between photons and an object to be imaged. Ghost imaging holds the prospect of improving image resolution but efforts in regard to this modality have met with limited success owing to a lack of understanding of the phenomena.

In response, ARL researchers have invented a ghost imaging system that provides reflective object imaging with improved sensitivity in the presence of an obscuring medium. In contrast to classical reflective object imaging, the photon ghost image is theoretically less dependent on image distortion associated with photon transit through obscuring medium and in practice there is only nominal image distortion associated with light traveling through an obscuring medium.

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