I've been toying with the idea of making a 3D scanner that uses an IR distance sensor to find position vectors of an object in space and then translates that into a 3D computer model.
One of the greatest challenges in this case is optical phenomena. If the surface has holes, or dimples that reflect the IR beam or cause diffraction, then getting an accurate reading would be nearly impossible, but that's an engineering problem. It would require several different passes from different angles to figure out what that real distance actually is.
What I would like to understand is there a way to use these "glitches" in the data to model the phenomena itself?
I think that this would make for a great experiment, but I don't know where to start and what to study. Essentially, I would like to derive from the data a theory of what interference was observed from the sensors and then model it to understand what it means.
So, how should I try to;
- Setting up the experiment
- Setting controls to verify the data
- Model the data
- Fabricate a theory to fit the observation
Update: What I want to do is to create an experiment that uses these mistakes in data (weird readings upon hitting distorted surfaces) and create a model that shows what optical phenomena are at play over here.
Well, you could say why not just see the surface and judge? That wouldn't be fun, now, would it? On a more serious note, what I am trying to do is just make my own experiment to actually measure whatever optical phenomena is at play. Explain it and perhaps derive an expression for it from the data itself.
Basically, I want to look at the data set correspond it with the physical model and see the variation in the distance reading vs. what it should have been and the surface and try to model why that happened with the 3D diagram.
As I am someone who just got out of high school. What do I learn and how do I go about actually doing this?
Note: I use optical phenomena as a sort of place holder for reflection, refraction, diffraction or whatever combination of these is at play. Sorry, for the confusion.
Update 2: I guess the question title is misleading and so is the text. I changed / rephrased it to get more participation.
Moreover, I know that it's hard to give a perfect answer to my question, but I would love to discuss this with someone and figure out what to learn and how. So, please go ahead take a shot. I would love to hear what you have on your mind.