LIDAR systems use single-photon detectors to enable long-range reflectivity and depth imaging. By exploiting an inhomoheneous Poisson process observation model and the typical structure of natural scenes, first-photon imaging demonstrates the possibility of accurate LIDAR with only 1 detected photon per pixel, where half of the detections are due to (uninformative) ambient light. I will explain the simple ideas behind first-photon imaging. Then I will touch upon related subsequent works that mitigate the limitations of detector arrays, withstand 25-times more ambient light, allow for unknown ambient light levels, and capture multiple depths per pixel.
Vivek Goyal received the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, where he received the Eliahu Jury Award for outstanding achievement in systems, communications, control, or signal processing. He was a Member of Technical Staff at Bell Laboratories, a Senior Research Engineer for Digital Fountain, and the Esther and Harold E. Edgerton Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT. He was an adviser to 3dim Tech, winner of the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition Launch Contest Grand Prize, and consequently with Nest Labs. He is now an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Boston University.
Dr. Goyal is a Fellow of the IEEE. He was awarded the 2002 IEEE Signal Processing Society Magazine Award, an NSF CAREER Award, and the Best Paper Award at the 2014 IEEE International Conference on Image Processing. Work he supervised won student best paper awards at the IEEE Data Compression Conference in 2006 and 2011 and the IEEE Sensor Array and Multichannel Signal Processing Workshop in 2012 as well as five MIT thesis awards. He currently serves on the Editorial Board of Foundations and Trends and Signal Processing, the Scientific Advisory Board of the Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery, the IEEE SPS Computational Imaging SIG, and the IEEE SPS Industry DSP TC. He was a Technical Program Committee Co-chair of Sampling Theory and Applications 2015 and was a Conference Co-chair of the SPIE Wavelets and Sparsity conference series 2006-2016. He is a co-author of Foundations of Signal Processing (Cambridge University Press, 2014).