10 Added update on surface area calculation for convex polytope

My general question concerns what we can learn about an arbitrary, three-dimensional convex polytope (or convex hull of an arbitrary polytope) strictly from the surface areas of its two-dimensional projections on a plane as it 'tumbles' in 3-space (i.e. as it rotates along an arbitrary, shifting axis).

We take an arbitrary three-dimensional convex polytope, and fix the center of mass to a coordinate in 3-space, $(x_0, y_0, z_0)$, located at some distance, $D$, above a flat surface. While this prohibits translation of the center of mass, the polytope is still allowed to tumble freely (i.e. it is allowed rotation around an arbitrary axis centered at the fixed coordinate).

There is no 'gravity' or other force to stabilize the tumbling polytope in a particular orientation. Over time it will continue to tumble randomly. (The 'physical' set-up is only meant for descriptive reasons.)

We shine a beam of coherent light on the tumbling polytope, larger than the polytope's dimensions, and continually record the area of the resulting shadow, or two-dimensional projection on the surface. To be clear, the area of the two-dimensional projection is the only information we are allowed to observe or record, and we are allowed to do so over an arbitrary length of time.

My question is - From observing the area of the tumbling polytope's shadow, or two-dimensional projection over time, what can we learn about it's geometry? To what extent can we characterize and/or reconstruct the polytope from its changing shadow (extracting the surface area for example - hat tip to Nurdin Takenov)?

Do we gain anything by watching the evolution of the convex polytopes shadow as it tumbles (part of the point for the physical example), as opposed to an unordered collection of two-dimensional projections?

Update - Nurdin Takenov (and Sergei Ivanov in later comments) nicely points out that we can use the average surface area of the two-dimensional projection to find the surface area of the tumbling convex polygon. Might we be able to find it's volume?

(Addendum - I would be really neat if somebody could point me to any algorithms in the literature... or available software.... that let's me calculate and characterize two-dimensional surface projections of convex polytopes!)

9 deleted 9 characters in body; [made Community Wiki]

My general question concerns what we can learn about an arbitrary, three-dimensional convex polytope (or convex approximation hull of an arbitrary polytope) strictly from the surface areas of its two-dimensional projections on a plane as it 'tumbles' in 3-space (i.e. as it rotates along an arbitrary, shifting axis).

We take an arbitrary three-dimensional convex polytope, and fix the center of mass to a coordinate in 3-space, $(x_0, y_0, z_0)$, located at some distance, $D$, above a flat surface. While this prohibits translation of the center of mass, the polytope is still allowed to tumble freely (i.e. it is allowed rotation around an arbitrary axis centered at the fixed coordinate).

There is no 'gravity' or other force to stabilize the tumbling polytope in a particular orientation. Over time it will continue to tumble randomly. (The 'physical' set-up is only meant for descriptive reasons.)

We shine a beam of coherent light on the tumbling polytope, larger than the polytope's dimensions, and continually record the area of the resulting shadow, or two-dimensional projection on the surface. To be clear, the area of the two-dimensional projection is the only information we are allowed to observe or record, and we are allowed to do so over an arbitrary length of time.

My question is - From observing the area of the tumbling polytope's shadow, or two-dimensional projection over time, what can we learn about it's geometry? To what extent can we characterize and/or reconstruct the polytope from its changing shadow (extracting the surface area for example - hat tip to Nurdin Takenov)?

Do we gain anything by watching the evolution of the convex polytopes shadow as it tumbles (part of the point for the physical example), as opposed to an unordered collection of two-dimensional projections?

(Addendum - I would be really neat if somebody could point me to any algorithms in the literature... or available software.... that let's me calculate and characterize two-dimensional surface projections of convex polytopes!)

8 added 257 characters in body

My general question concerns what we can learn about an arbitrary, three-dimensional convex polytope (or convex approximation of an arbitrary polytope) strictly from the surface areas of its two-dimensional projections on a plane as it 'tumbles' in 3-space (i.e. as it rotates along an arbitrary, shifting axis).

We take an arbitrary three-dimensional convex polytope, and fix the center of mass to a coordinate in 3-space, $(x_0, y_0, z_0)$, located at some distance, $D$, above a flat surface. While this prohibits translation of the center of mass, the polytope is still allowed to tumble freely (i.e. it is allowed rotation around an arbitrary axis centered at the fixed coordinate).

There is no 'gravity' or other force to stabilize the tumbling polytope in a particular orientation. Over time it will continue to tumble randomly. (The 'physical' set-up is only meant for descriptive reasons.)

We shine a beam of coherent light on the tumbling polytope, larger than the polytope's dimensions, and continually record the area of the resulting shadow, or two-dimensional projection on the surface. To be clear, the area of the two-dimensional projection is the only information we are allowed to observe or record, and we are allowed to do so over an arbitrary length of time.

My question is - From observing the area of the tumbling polytope's shadow, or two-dimensional projection over time, what can we learn about it's geometry? To what extent can we characterize and/or reconstruct the polytope from its changing shadow (extracting the surface area for example)example - hat tip to Nurdin Takenov)?

Do we gain anything by watching the evolution of the convex polytopes shadow as it tumbles (part of the point for the physical example), as opposed to an unordered collection of two-dimensional projections?

(Addendum - I would be really neat if somebody could point me to any algorithms in the literature... or available software.... that let's me calculate and characterize two-dimensional surface projections of convex polytopes!)

7 Added further justification for physical example, made point about watching evolution of projections rather than unordered collection.
6 Specified that the polytope should be convex
5 deleted 11 characters in body
4 Noted that the polytope will not stabilize in a particular orientation and will continue to tumble randomly; edited body
3 Title change; added 20 characters in body
2 deleted 6 characters in body
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