Scientific Experience

The sensor group focuses on the complete development of electro-optical sensors from the idea to its successful implementation in the form of prototypes. For this purpose our scientists and engineers work closely and confidentially together with customers, partners, potential producers and users. Culmination in the recent short history of the department was the successful completion of a project to develop a 3D-distance sensor in 2006.

This sensor combines some features of a modern digital camera with the time of flight principle (TOF) of a short laser pulse. The laser pulse is used to illuminate a 3-dimensional scene and the sensor then detects the depth profile of that scene. The working principle was developed by our scientists and in cooperation with the TU Berlin we designed an Opto-ASIC which was produced by the microelectronics company XFab in Erfurt. On the basis of this chip the prototype of a 3D-distance sensor has been developed that determines the distance of a target point independently in each of its 256 pixels.

Our group is also engaged in the development of the software necessary for special applications of such sensors (counting and tracking of objects and people).

Prototype of the 3D-distance sensor with the advanced Opto-ASIC, developed in cooperation with the TU Berlin.

Depth image of a human face with color-coded surface curvatures.


Potential applications of the 3D distance sensor are intelligent airbag control systems, control of autonomous robots and vehicles, the measurement, counting and classification of objects and people and even the face recognition.