Time-Gated Single Pixel Camera: A flexible, low-cost sensor platform for autonomous vehicles for the capture of environmental data under arbitrary viewing conditions

The vehicle taking an increasingly proactive role while driving is a key feature of modern mobility. For example, modern cars will actively warn the driver of a potentially dangerous situation and may even take action autonomously. We expect these systems to work reliably under all possible environmental conditions one might encounter. This, however, poses challenges towards the optical sensors in the vehicle, because dealing with sub-optimal viewing conditions such as fog or snow is still difficult even for modern sensors.



The aim of this project is to implement the Time-Gated Single Pixel Camera (TGSPCam) as a demonstrator setup. The TGSPCam is a new concept for an optical sensor. It is especially suited for detecting objects in or behind scattering media, such as fog. The key enablers are an ultra-fast detection system and a simultaneous reduction of captured data.




  • Illumination of the scene by a powerful SWIR laser. Light in this wavelength regime is invisible for humans and far less dangerous to the eye than visible light.
  • Structuring of the backscattered light with a set of dark-light masks at high refresh rates
  • Ultra-fast detection and processing of intensities enables depth resolved results
  • Image reconstruction based on multiple intensity measurements



Our sensor can serve as an addition or alternative to established optical sensors in vehicles. It offers enhanced viewing capabilities through scattering media, integrated depth measurements and flexibility in data processing and image reconstruction while avoiding moving parts.

Key data

Research Field



01.09.2023 until 30.06.2024

Project participants


Houssem Guissouma

Research Coordinator "Software-System-Architectures"

+49 172 9830585