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Meter-range volumetric imaging with 15µm resolution

3D Mannequin and Chess set animation

Dr. Zhao Wang and the group of James G. Fujimoto at MIT recently published a groundbreaking Optica paper in which 3D tomographic volumetric imaging (OCT imaging) was performed over a full one-meter-cubed volume, with 15 micron axial resolution.

The results were also presented at SPIE Photonics West 2016 BIOS - view his entire presentation with your conference login:

Bicycle 3D animation

The astonishing result was enabled by a Praevium 1310nm MEMS-VCSEL laser light source, which has been shown to have an optical coherence length of hundreds of meters [JLT 2015]. Typical OCT light sources have coherence lengths in the millimeter range, rendering such long-range imaging unfeasible. In addition, the extremely high-speed detection required for acquiring the long-range interferogram was enabled by an Acacia Networks silicon-photonics dual-quadrature receiver chip.


Tomographic imaging captures high-resolution details within and through the objects, not just surface topology. These bottles are situated in front of a metal plate; color-coding indicates depth of the detected surface.


Animated cross-sectioning of a skull, illustrating the post-processing analysis that can be performed on the volumetric data.


Summaries of the result and it's impact on industrial imaging have been printed in numerous publications:

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