Skip to main content

Technology Transfer Office
11 Rope Ferry Road #6210
Hanover, NH 03755-1404
Phone: (603) 646-3027
Fax: (603) 646-3670

3D Scanning Laser Systems and Methods for Determining Surface Geometry of an Immersed Object in a Transparent Cylindrical Glass Tank

The 3D scanning laser system was initially developed to measure the topology of a human breast for use in a microwave imaging machine where accurate knowledge of the boundary between the breast and a transparent liquid within a transparent cylindrical tank would improve imaging and diagnosis accuracy.

The system measures a surface topography of any object immersed within a transparent liquid within the transparent cylindrical tank. Two laser line projectors and a camera are mounted on a rotating platform centered on a central axis of the cylindrical tank, where the laser lines are generated perpendicular to the plane of rotation and aligned with the center of rotation. As the platform rotates, the camera images the object immersed in the tank at a plurality of angular positions relative to a reference position of the stationary cylindrical tank, and a plurality of 3D positions on the surface of the object are determined using a ray tracing algorithm and the captured images. The ray tracing algorithm takes into account the light transitions through the transparent cylindrical tank and the transparent liquid. An accurate 3D model of the surface of the object is then generated from the 3D positions. The system operates substantially in real-time, such that the determination of surface topology and modeling can be performed immediately prior to the microwave imaging process, wherein the surface of the object (breast) within the tank is known to high accuracy.

Other possible uses include accurate measurement of specimens stored within a transparent liquids and tanks. Because the 3D model may be determined in real-time, the system is ideally suited to determining surface topology of immersed objects prior to subsequent processing.

This technology is claimed in a pending patent application. We are seeking an industrial partner interested in its commercialization.
(Ref: J572)

Last Updated: 7/24/12