Holographic Imaging System Will Help Firefighters Orient Themselves Better In Burning Buildings
Finding victims in a thick smoke and bliinding flames inside a burning building will soon be much more easier due to the new tool designed by the Italian researchers. A digital imaging system captures infrared signals in 3-D and converts them to holographic video in real-time, enabling firefighters to distinguish flames from heat-emitting objects behind them. The imaging system generates video using the basic principles of holography: to create a hologram a laser beam is split into an object beam and a reference beam; the object beam is shone onto the object being imaged. When the reflected object beam and the reference beam are recombined, they create an interference pattern that encodes the 3-D image. Laser beams of longer wavelength recombine to form a larger interference pattern, allowing the system to generate human-size holograms. The imaging system would be a major improvement to regular infrared cameras, and the researchers are currently looking for a way to combine the laser source and camera into a single device.