Design and Analysis of Electro-Optic Sensors Based on the Compound Eyes of Arthropods.
Methods are presented for designing and estimating the performance of artificial compound eye optical sensors. Apposition compound eyes have been investigated for a wide range of applications from robotics to smart weapons while less attention has been paid to artificial superposition compound eyes. Artificial apposition compound eyes have been constructed and demonstrated, yet optical design issues and performance prediction for these systems have never been adequately addressed in the literature. Artificial compound eyes are a useful paradigm for applications where wide field of view is critical but high spatial resolution is not required. Natural arthropod compound eyes and their biological models are first scrutinized to give insight into designing and modeling artificial compound eye optical sensors. Apposition sensors are then discussed and the differences between natural and artificial apposition compound eyes are quantified. The first ever simulation of a visible wavelength superposition compound eye is then demonstrated and simulation experiments are shown which describe the performance envelope of this novel new sensor. It was concluded that much like their natural counterparts, artificial compound eye sensors will have orders of magnitude poorer spatial resolution that comparably sized single aperture sensors. However, artificial compound eye sensors can have fields of view that approaches the full sphere of object space. Artificial compound eye sensors were also shown to be able to slightly outperform natural compound eyes due to simple scaling factors.
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- Physics: Optics; Engineering: Electronics and Electrical