Tracking Hidden Objects with a Single Photon Camera

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Electronics, Sensors & Photonics
Electronics, Sensors & Photonics

University: Heriot Watt University

Sector(s): Electronics, Sensors & Photonics, Aerospace, Aviation & Transport, Electronics, Sensors & Photonics, Information & Communications Technologies, Other

About Opportunity:

Laser illuminated detection and ranging (LIDAR) allows mapping of the position of objects over large distances by sending a laser signal and measuring the time take for it to return. one problem of LIDAR is that is generally requires direct "line of sight" between the laser/ object making it unsuited to objects that my be obscured or around corners and they are effectively "hidden from view".

In certain situations, it is necessary to monitor or track objects that are "hidden from view". Using single photon camera technology, principles similar to LIDAR and custom software, we have demonstrated a compact, non-line of sight imaging system that can "see around corners".

Our proof of concept system has shown high resolution (centimetre precision on objects up to "human scale/ 1.8M high") and we are now looking to partner with companies in the imaging sector for collaborative development.

Key Benefits:

  • Non-line of sight imaging of objects
  • Ability to track the movement of objects that are outwith the normal line of sight.
  • Simplistic system uses primalily COTS parts - camera, light source etc.
  • Compact system - offering portable set up


  • Security - Imaging of Objects that are objects that are outwith the normal line of sight.
  • Tracking of Objects that are objects that are outwith the normal line of sight.

IP Status:

"Proof of concept" has been demonstrated a laboratory environment using a SPAD camera, laser illumination & modified image capture software.

GB priority patent filed to protect basic concept (October 2014).

Journal paper "Tracking Hidden Objects with a Single Photon Camera" to Gariepy, Faccio et al. is published online:

We are seeking industry partners in the security, military or imaging sector for collaborative R&D or commercial license agreements.


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