A variety of spaceborne and airborne instruments have been applied to spatio-angularly sample and image atmospheric radiance. These imaging architectures, however, have a spatial resolution of several Km/ pixel, an angular resolution of approximately 7 angles per view, and their orbit requires several days to return to the same terrestrial spot. Furthermore, spaceborne instruments are extremely expensive and unscalable. Other systems for providing 3D mapping of cloud-tops include satellite-based MISR which may take minutes to capture multiple viewpoints of a region, during which the clouds may move.
The technology includes a system for wide-scale light-field imaging to sense the sky.
It comprises of: (i) a network of multiple terrestrial cameras positioned at multiple known locations, where each camera comprises a wide-angle lens directed towards the sky and configured to capture one or more images. (ii) A processor configured to operate a wired or wireless communications infrastructure for transmitting the captured images. (iii) A server configured to receive the wirelessly transmitted images and jointly process the received images, thereby producing a wide- scale light field image of the sky.
- The redundancy provided by the network comprising consistent units may ensure proper alignment performance, eliminating dead regions , and offer operational robustness over long periods
- Spectra of incoming light rays may be measured by positioning a diffraction grating in a field of view of at least one of the cameras
Applications and Opportunities
- Such a light-field system may be used to create a 3D map over time of the Earth’s atmosphere for various applications such as:
- Analyzing cloud cover
- Bird migration patterns
- Aviation meteorology
- Aerosol tomography