With This Camera, One Snapshot Captures All of Light’s Data

Engineers at Duke University are leading a nationwide effort to develop a camera that takes pictures worth not just a thousand words, but an entire encyclopedia.

Funded by a five-year, $7.5 million grant through the Department of Defense’s Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) competition, the team will develop a “super camera” that captures just about every type of information that light can carry, such as polarization, depth, phase, coherence and incidence angle. The new camera will also use edge computing and hardware acceleration technologies to process the vast amount of information it captures within the device in real-time.

Joining Duke on the new project are researchers from the California Institute of Technology, City University of New York, Harvard University, Stanford University and the University of Pennsylvania.

“It is hard to predict exactly where the biggest impact will be-but that is also one of the exciting aspects about fundamental research.”

– maiken mikkelsen

“Detection of many of these properties of light have been demonstrated in the past to a limited degree, but multiple properties are rarely, if ever, captured simultaneously,” said Maiken Mikkelsen, the James N. and Elizabeth H. Barton Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke. “This idea-even the ability to pursue it-is really quite new and has the potential to revolutionize the sensing field.”

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