Highly Integrated and Compact Optical Processor for On-Board Systems

HICOPOS - 7050

Keywords embedded systems, ferroelectric LCs, optical processors, pattern recognition, vision systems

Start Date: 27 May 1992 / Duration: 36 months / Status: ongoing

[ contact / participants ]

a compact optical processing system for recognising road signs from a moving vehicle

Objectives and Approach

The design will be based on ferroelectric liquid-crystal (FLC) technology, which allows parallel spatial processing at rates higher than the video frame rate. As the FLC optical processor can be directly coupled to the silicon backplane in the planned implementation, interfaces between sensor and processor may no longer be needed, resulting in a very compact system.

As a demonstrator, the problem chosen represents a good example of simple dynamic scene analysis with well-defined objectives involving planar pattern recognition only.

Initial evaluations of two different optical architectures have been performed. A compact implementation of the optical correlator has been designed and implemented. Initial tests have been performed with images recorded under realistic operating conditions from a moving vehicle, with a special edge-enhancing camera.

The development and assessment of advanced sensors is fully in line with the security strategies used in the automotive industry.


John Brocklehurst
Thorn EMI plc
Dawley Road
UK-Hayes UB3 1HH
tel: +44 81 848-9779
fax: +44 81 848-6565
telex: 934135 EMICRL G


Thorn EMI plc [UK]
École Nationale Suoerieure des Telecom de Bretagne [F]
PSA-Etudes et Recherches [F]
Associate Partners
University of Cambridge [UK]
University of Edinburgh [UK]

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HICOPOS - 7050, December 1993

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html version of synopsis by Nick Cook