Image sensing and Acquisition

The types of images in which we are interested are generated by the combination of an “illumination” source and the reflection or absorption of energy from that source by the elements of the “scene” being imaged.

We enclose illumination and scene in quotes to emphasize the fact that they are considerably more general than the familiar situation in which a visible light source illuminates a common everyday 3-D (three-dimensional) scene.

For example, the illumination may originate from a source of electromagnetic energy such as radar, infrared, or X-ray energy.

But, as noted earlier, it could originate from less traditional sources, such as ultrasound or even a computer-generated illumination pattern. Similarly, the scene elements could be familiar objects, but they can just as easily be molecules, buried rock formations, or a human brain.

We could even image a source, such as acquiring images of the sun. Depending on the nature of the source, illumination energy is reflected from, or transmitted through, objects. An example in the first category is light reflected from a planar surface. An example in the second category is when X-rays pass through a patient's body for the purpose of generating a diagnostic X-ray film.

In some applications, the reflected or transmitted energy is focused onto a photo converter (e.g., a phosphor screen), which converts the energy into visible light. Electron microscopy and some applications of gamma imaging use this approach.

The idea is simple: Incoming energy is transformed into a voltage by the combination of input electrical power and sensor material that is responsive to the particular type of energy being detected.

The output voltage waveform is the response of the sensor(s), and a digital quantity is obtained from each sensor by digitizing its response. In this section, we look at the principal modalities for image sensing and generation.

Fig: Single Image sensor

Fig: Line Sensor

Fig: Array sensor