Volume 2 (2010) Pages 186-199
We propose a novel wide angle imaging system inspired by compound eyes of animals. Instead of using a single lens, well compensated for aberration, we used a number of simple lenses to form a compound eye which produces practically distortion-free, uniform images with angular variation. The images formed by the multiple lenses are superposed on a single surface for increased light efficiency. We use GRIN (gradient refractive index) lenses to create sharply focused images without the artifacts seen when using reflection based methods for X-ray astronomy. We show the theoretical constraints for forming a blur-free image on the image sensor, and derive a continuum between 1 : 1 flat optics for document scanners and curved sensors focused at infinity. Finally, we show a practical application of the proposed optics in a beacon to measure the relative rotation angle between the light source and the camera with ID information.