We report a new method of sensing a three-dimensional (3D) object surface with an arbitrary geometric shape. In this approach, the first-order beams diffracted from two acousto-optic deflectors (AODs) interfere with each other to form a spatial carrier that is used to encode the depth information from the 3D object surface. A direct digital synthesizer is utilized to control two AODs to generate sequentially spatial carriers with different spatial frequencies so that a modified temporal phase-unwrapping technique can be applied for decoding the shape information of the test surface. Preliminary experimental results are presented to demonstrate the effectiveness of this method.
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