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Wide-angle camera with multichannel architecture using microlenses on a curved surface

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Abstract

We propose a multichannel imaging system that combines the principles of an insect’s compound eye and the human eye. The optical system enables a reduction in track length of the imaging device to achieve miniaturization. The multichannel structure is achieved by a curved microlens array, and a Hypergon lens is used as the main lens to simulate the human eye, achieving large field of view (FOV). With this architecture, each microlens of the array transmits a segment of the overall FOV. The partial images are recorded in separate channels and stitched together to form the final image of the whole FOV by image processing. The design is 2.7 mm thick, with 59 channels; the 100°×80° full FOV is optimized using ZEMAX ray-tracing software on an image plane. The image plane size is 4.53mm×3.29mm. Given the recent progress in the fabrication of microlenses, this image system has the potential to be commercialized in the near future.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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