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Infrared digital holography allows firefighters to see through flames, image moving people
Date:2/26/2013

ject beam and a reference beam). The object beam is shone onto the object being imaged. When the reflected object beam and the reference beam are recombined, they create an interference pattern that encodes the 3-D image.

In the researchers' new imaging system, a beam of infrared laser light is widely dispersed throughout a room. Unlike visible light, which cannot penetrate thick smoke and flames, the IR rays pass through largely unhindered. The IR light does, however, reflect off of any objects or people in the room, and the information carried by this reflected light is recorded by a holographic imager. It is then decoded to reveal the objects beyond the smoke and flames. The result is a live, 3-D movie of the room and its contents.

The next step in moving this technology to the field is to develop a portable tripod-based system that houses both the laser source and the IR camera. The systems may also be suitable for fixed installation inside buildings or tunnels. In addition, the team is exploring other applications, most notably in the biomedical field for non-destructive testing of large aerospace composite structures.

"Besides life-saving applications in fire and rescue, the potential to record dynamic scenes of a human body could have a variety of other biomedical uses including studying or monitoring breathing, cardiac beat detection and analysis, or measurement of body deformation due to various stresses during exercise," Ferraro says. "We are excited to further develop this technology and realize its application for saving and improving human life."


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Contact: Angela Stark
astark@osa.org
202-416-1443
Optical Society of America
Source:Eurekalert  

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