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Trilobite-Inspired Camera Boasts Huge Depth of Field

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Fossil of a trilobite.

One trilobite species, Dalmanitina socialis, possessed a unique kind of compound eye that helped the species see both near and far at the same time.


Chinese and U.S. researchers collaborated on the development of a camera with a massive depth of field, which can simultaneously image objects as close as 3 centimeters (1.1 inches) and as far off as 1.7 km (1.05 miles).

The researchers modeled the light-field camera after the compound eyes of the extinct trilobite Dalmanitina socialis, fabricating metasurface lenses studded with millions of nanometer-scale pillars.

The metalenses capture and split light into waves whose electric fields are circularly polarized clockwise or counterclockwise; each nanopillar bends these light waves by different amounts, focusing them on near or far objects.

The researchers adapted a convolutional neural network to enable the metalens to focus on intermediate distances, helping the camera reassemble light-field data over a large depth of field from a single shot.

From IEEE Spectrum
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Abstracts Copyright © 2022 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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