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J Opt Soc Am A Opt Image Sci Vis. 2007 Apr;24(4):993-1002.

Precision passive range measurement.

Author information

  • LightLine Technologies Inc., Needham, Massachusetts 02492, USA. Stevenlis@comcast.net


Image feature analysis to determine object distance can provide precision performance if the optical point-spread function is highly sensitive to range. In the method presented here, a specially designed mask imparts a quarter-wave phase shift over part of the input aperture, thereby inducing an interference effect with maximum sensitivity. The resultant image can be compared with a conventional image through deconvolution and least-squares fitting in order to extract a precise range estimate. This method is quantitatively examined through computer modeling and laboratory testing and is broadly applicable to a wide range of optical wave bands.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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