Single-photon depth imaging using a union-of-subspaces model
Shapiro, Jeffrey H.
Goyal, Vivek K.
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Citation (published version)Dongeek Shin, Jeffrey H Shapiro, Vivek K Goyal. 2015. "Single-Photon Depth Imaging Using a Union-of-Subspaces Model." IEEE Signal Processing Letters, Volume 22, Issue 12, pp. 2254 - 2258. https://doi.org/10.1109/LSP.2015.2475274
Light detection and ranging systems reconstruct scene depth from time-of-flight measurements. For low light-level depth imaging applications, such as remote sensing and robot vision, these systems use single-photon detectors that resolve individual photon arrivals. Even so, they must detect a large number of photons to mitigate Poisson shot noise and reject anomalous photon detections from background light. We introduce a novel framework for accurate depth imaging using a small number of detected photons in the presence of an unknown amount of background light that may vary spatially. It employs a Poisson observation model for the photon detections plus a union-of-subspaces constraint on the discrete-time flux from the scene at any single pixel. Together, they enable a greedy signal-pursuit algorithm to rapidly and simultaneously converge on accurate estimates of scene depth and background flux, without any assumptions on spatial correlations of the depth or background flux. Using experimental single-photon data, we demonstrate that our proposed framework recovers depth features with 1.7 cm absolute error, using 15 photons per image pixel and an illumination pulse with 6.7-cm scaled root-mean-square length. We also show that our framework outperforms the conventional pixelwise log-matched filtering, which is a computationally-efficient approximation to the maximum-likelihood solution, by a factor of 6.1 in absolute depth error.