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Sensors 2018, 18(11), 3642; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18113642

A 250 m Direct Time-of-Flight Ranging System Based on a Synthesis of Sub-Ranging Images and a Vertical Avalanche Photo-Diodes (VAPD) CMOS Image Sensor

Panasonic Corporation, 1 Kotari-yakemachi, Nagaokakyo City, Kyoto 617-8520, Japan
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 August 2018 / Revised: 19 October 2018 / Accepted: 24 October 2018 / Published: 27 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The International SPAD Sensor Workshop)
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Abstract

We have developed a direct time-of-flight (TOF) 250 m ranging Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor (CIS) based on a 688 × 384 pixels array of vertical avalanche photodiodes (VAPD). Each pixel of the CIS comprises VAPD with a standard four transistor pixel circuit equipped with an analogue capacitor to accumulate or count avalanche pulses. High power near infrared (NIR) short (<50 ns) and repetitive (6 kHz) laser pulses are illuminated through a diffusing optics. By globally gating the VAPD, each pulse is counted in the in-pixel counter enabling extraction of sub-photon level signal. Depth map imaging with a 10 cm lateral resolution is realized from 1 m to 250 m range by synthesizing subranges images of photon counts. Advantages and limitation of an in-pixel circuit are described. The developed CIS is expected to supersede insufficient resolution of the conventional light detection and ranging (LiDAR) systems and the short range of indirect CIS TOF. View Full-Text
Keywords: avalanche photodiode; vertical avalanche photodiode; time-of-flight; CMOS image sensor; photon counting; ranging avalanche photodiode; vertical avalanche photodiode; time-of-flight; CMOS image sensor; photon counting; ranging
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Hirose, Y.; Koyama, S.; Ishii, M.; Saitou, S.; Takemoto, M.; Nose, Y.; Inoue, A.; Sakata, Y.; Sugiura, Y.; Kabe, T.; Usuda, M.; Kasuga, S.; Mori, M.; Odagawa, A.; Tanaka, T. A 250 m Direct Time-of-Flight Ranging System Based on a Synthesis of Sub-Ranging Images and a Vertical Avalanche Photo-Diodes (VAPD) CMOS Image Sensor. Sensors 2018, 18, 3642.

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