Metamaterials for Computational Imaging
Metamaterials extend the design space, flexibility, and control of optical material systems and so yield fundamentally new computational imaging systems. A computational imaging system relies heavily on the design of measurement modes. Metamaterials provide a great deal of control over the generation of the measurement modes of an aperture. On the other side of the coin, computational imaging uses the data that that can be measured by an imaging system, which may limited, in an optimal way thereby producing the best possible image within the physical constraints of a system. The synergy of these two technologies - metamaterials and computational imaging - allows for entirely novel imaging systems. These contributions are realized in the concept of a frequency-diverse metamaterial imaging system that will be presented in this thesis. This 'metaimager' uses the same electromagnetic flexibility that metamaterials have shown in many other contexts to construct an imaging aperture suitable for single-pixel operation that can measure arbitrary measurement modes, constrained only by the size of the aperture and resonant elements. It has no lenses, no moving parts, a small form-factor, and is low-cost.
In this thesis we present an overview of work done by the author in the area of metamaterial imaging systems. We first discuss novel transformation-optical lenses enabled by metamaterials which demonstrate the electromagnetic flexibility of metamaterials. We then introduce the theory of computational and compressed imaging using the language of Fourier optics, and derive the forward model needed to apply computational imaging to the metaimager system. We describe the details of the metamaterials used to construct the metaimager and their application to metamaterial antennas. The experimental tools needed to characterize the metaimager, including far-field and near-field antenna characterization, are described. We then describe the design, operation, and characterization of a one-dimensional metaimager capable of collecting two-dimensional images, and then a two-dimensional metaimager capable of collecting two-dimensional images. The imaging results for the one-dimensional metaimager are presented including two-dimensional (azimuth and range) images of point scatters, and video-rate imaging. The imaging results for the two-dimensional metaimager are presented including analysis of the system's resolution, signal-to-noise sensitivity, acquisition rate, human targets, and integration of optical and structured-light sensors. Finally, we discuss explorations into methods of tuning metamaterial radiators which could be employed to significantly increase the capabilities of such a metaimaging system, and describe several systems that have been designed for the integration of tuning into metamaterial imaging systems.
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