I'm working on a project in which an IR laser is pointed perpendicular to the surface of an X-Y plane (Think like the old game "Duck Hunt"). I don't know where the IR beam will land on the plane but would like to detect the location, distance from plane(based on area of beam in comparison to beam aperture or its intensity compared to its initial intensity) and save it for display in an app.
From my research I think an array (or multiple arrays) of receiving ir/photovoltaic sensors would work but I want to avoid that method (if plausible) because I'm trying to use the minimal amount of components and I want to keep the programming "relatively" simple (if possible). [I've got mechanical engineering background not electrical. Apologies, friends]
I did more research and I think a CMOS sensor (commonly found in almost all digital cameras these days) could potentially be used (or perhaps a kinect?)
This is where my question comes in: IF I were to pursue the cmos sensor method, how could I best go about finding the location? IF the cmos method would be overly complicated (there has to be a better way) to display this information. I'm open to any microcontroller suggestions as well. Any help or guidance in the direction to research would be appreciated.
Thanks for your help
**Edits: Want it to detect on a physical plane can be opaque or clear. The surface area I'd like to detect is about the size of a sheet of paper (8.5"x11")
Let's assume we dont have control of the ir laser and that it can hit anywhere on the plane. The only thing we can alter is the plate and the sensor.