In this paper, we propose a new cue of depth sensing using thermal radiation. Our method realizes passive, texture independent, far range, and dark scene applicability, which can broaden the depth sensing subjects. A key observation is that thermal radiation is attenuated by the air and is wavelength dependent. By modeling the wavelength-dependent attenuation by the air and building a multi-spectral LWIR measurement system, we can jointly estimate the depth, temperature, and emissivity of the target. We analytically show the capability of the thermal radiation cue and show the effectiveness of the method in real-world scenes using an imaging system with a few bandpass filters.
Overview of the shape from thermal radiation. Our method jointly estimates the depth, temperature, and emissivity images from multi-spectral LWIR images. A key observation is that thermal radiation from the target object is attenuated through the air and is wavelength dependent.