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Appl Opt. 1997 Nov 1;36(31):8275-85.

Reflective surfaces for panoramic imaging.


A family of reflective surfaces is presented that, when imaged by a camera, can capture a global view of the visual environment. By using these surfaces in conjunction with conventional imaging devices, it is possible to produce fields of view in excess of 180 degrees that are not affected by the distortions and aberrations found in refractive wide-angle imaging devices. By solving a differential equation expressing the camera viewing angle as a function of the angle of incidence on a reflective surface, a family of appropriate surfaces has been derived. The surfaces preserve a linear relationship between the angle of incidence of light onto the surface and the angle of reflection onto the imaging device, as does a normal mirror. However, the gradient of this linear relationship can be varied as desired to produce a larger or smaller field of view. The resulting family of surfaces has a number of applications in surveillance and machine vision.


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