Active and Passive Optical Imaging System to Reduce Storage and Compression Time

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A schematic diagram of a preferred embodiment of the hybrid differential optical sensing system to deliver compressed sensing.
Nabeel Riza, Ph.D.
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Hassan Foroosh, Ph.D.
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Patent Protection

Hybrid differential optical sensing imager

US Patent 8,587,686 B1

Compressed sensing, which is often based on random measurement bases, is a useful technique that samples and significantly compresses a signal at a much faster rate. However, currently available methods have two key challenges; when used in practical systems, such as computed tomography, synthetic aperture radar (SAR), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), random measurement is incompatible with the reconstruction requirements, and when used in random unstructured sampling, the computation and memory requirements are nearly impossible to meet, defeating the purpose of compressed sensing.

To overcome these challenges, UCF researchers have created a hybrid differential optical sensing imager and methods for compressed sensing. This dual-mode novel system uses both active (laser) and passive (ambient) light to intelligently sample the direct image information with a three-dimensional (3-D) spatial frame and four-dimensional (3-D space + 1-D time) sampling. Additionally, this new technique delivers powerful compressed sensed imaging using an electronically agile lens-based sensor. Compared to standard imagers such as CCD devices, the imager also provides adaptive compressed sensing which significantly reduces both memory and computational power needs. This system and method can be used in numerous applications including in medicine, astronomy, and space.

Technical Details

This novel hybrid imaging system includes two image sensor systems. The active image sensor system uses a laser beam to produce a target boundary outline, via a light flooding method, collecting a sparse data set that corresponds to the target boundary outlines. The passive image sensor system uses direct pin-hole spatial optical sampling of the ambient environment light target image. The hybrid combination of these two systems provides the increased speed and compression. Further optimization is accomplished by utilizing the Laplacian to adaptively compute sparse data in the dual-mode compressed sensing of the target.


  • Significantly reduces computational and memory requirements
  • Dual-mode—both active and passive light can be used
  • Compatible with reconstruction requirements


  • Medical imaging
  • Optical imaging
  • Camera imaging
  • Astronomy
  • Industrial applications
  • Space