Photon-counting sensing is a widely used technique for low-light-level imaging applications. This paper proposes a distance information extraction method with photon-counting passive sensing under low-lightlevel conditions. The photo-counting passive sensing combined with integral imaging generates a photon-limited elemental image array. Maximum-likelihood estimation (MLE) is used to reconstruct the photon-limited image at certain depth levels. The distance information is extracted at the depth level that minimizes the sum of the standard deviation of the corresponding photo-events in the elemental image array. Experimental and simulation results confirm that the proposed method can extract the distance information of the object under low-light-level conditions.

© 2011 Optical Society of Korea

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