Abstract

Light reflection from a surface is described by the bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF). In this paper, BRDF effects in reflection tomography are studied using modeled range-resolved reflection from well-characterized geometrical surfaces. It is demonstrated that BRDF effects can cause a darkening at the interior boundary of the reconstructed surface analogous to the well-known beam hardening artifact in x-ray transmission computed tomography (CT). This artifact arises from reduced reflection at glancing incidence angles to the surface. It is shown that a purely Lambertian surface without shadowed components is perfectly reconstructed from range-resolved measurements. This result is relevant to newly fabricated carbon nanotube materials. Shadowing is shown to cause crossed streak artifacts similar to limited-angle effects in CT reconstruction. In tomographic reconstruction, these effects can overwhelm highly diffuse components in proximity to specularly reflecting elements. Diffuse components can be recovered by specialized processing, such as reducing glints via thresholded measurements.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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