Imaging

Analyst Roundtable: Machine Vision Moves Beyond Manufacturing

Imaging technology is playing an increasingly important role, for traditional industry sectors like manufacturing as well as emerging segments outside of the factory. Companies are looking to automate their operations. Lower costs have enabled customers to use camera-based technologies for the very first time. Vision systems have become more capable than single-purpose devices.

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‘Ralph’ Camera Shows Pluto in Color

Thanks to a camera affectionately known as “Ralph,” NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has delivered stunning natural-color images of Pluto and its moons.

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Image Processing Software Environment (QuIP)

Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California The QuIP interpreter is a software environment for QUick Image Processing that features an interactive scripting language designed to facilitate use by non-expert users through features such as context-sensitive automatic response completion. The package includes a number of script packages that implement high-level functions such as analysis of eye images for human gaze tracking, medium-level functions such as feature tracking, and low-level functions such as image filtering. The environment also includes facilities for displaying images onscreen, drawing and overlaying graphics, and constructing graphical user interfaces using the scripting language. QuIP can be acquired at: http://scanpath.arc.nasa.gov/quip/.

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CubeSat-Compatible, High-Resolution, Thermal Infrared Imager

This imager will consolidate many of the best features in a single technology. Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland A small, adaptable, and stable thermal imaging system was developed that can be flown on an aircraft, deployed on the International Space Station as an attached payload, launched on a ride-share as an entirely self-contained 3U CubeSat, flown on a small satellite, or be a co-manifested satellite instrument. When the instrument design is proven, multiple copies of it could be assembled and aligned into an instrument array to enable large-swath thermal imaging from space, all to provide more detailed spatial and temporal data for biomass burning and land surface temperature studies than has heretofore been available from orbit. The instrument has an Earth-observing expected noise equivalent differential temperature (NEDT)

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Fabrication and Imaging Method for Microstructured Photonic Belt Resonator

The resonators have application in quantum and nonlinear optical areas where dispersion control is required. Frequency combs derived from optical microresonators are required to reach an octave in span. This is required for self-referencing a comb. Presently, the frequency comb span produced by whispering gallery microcavities and other types of cavities is limited mostly by total cavity dispersion.

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NASA Vision Workbench (VWB) v3

Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California VWB is a modular, extensible computer vision framework that supports tasks including automated science and engineering analysis, large satellite image processing, and 2D/3D environment reconstruction. The framework provides a rapid C++ development environment as well as a flexible, multi-platform system to deploy computer vision applications. The module interface allows new capabilities to be rapidly integrated, and a dataflow architecture allows image processing pipelines to be quickly developed and reconfigured.

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Flight Proving a Heliophysics Soft X-Ray Imager

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland The interaction between the solar wind and the Earth’s magneto - sphere results in “space weather.” To determine the true nature of the solar wind-magnetosphere interaction, scientists require global measurements of processes occurring at the bow shock, in the magnetosheath, and at the magnetopause. Such observations can only be obtained from imaging this interaction globally. This will produce a paradigm shift similar to how satellite imaging revolutionized terrestrial weather forecasting.

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Intensity Interferometry Image Recovery

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California This software extends the well-known error-reduction Gerchberg-Saxton method to imaging of dark objects, assuming that such an object partially shadows a well-characterized thermal light source, while the shadow cannot be used for inferring the object’s shape. These assumptions are reasonable for a wide class of astronomic objects of interest, such as exoplanets, asteroids, neutron stars, dust clouds, black holes, dark matter, etc.

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Cameras for All-Sky Meteor Surveillance (CAMS) Version 1.3

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland The CAMS system comprises a deployment of multiple narrow-field, low-light video cameras that completely covers the sky in a mosaic pattern from 30° elevation and above. Two or three such camera batteries separated by many kilometers allow for large atmospheric volume coverage, high spatial resolution, and the high probability of viewing a meteor from more than one site for triangulation and thus atmospheric path reconstruction.

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Normalized Cross Correlation FPGA Implementation

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California A safe and precise landing system for Mars will match features seen in descent imagery against a map constructed from orbital imagery. The spacecraft attitude and altitude are known, but lateral position is known only poorly. From attitude and altitude, one can generate a mapping (homography) that allows the descent image to be warped into the orthonormal viewpoint of the map. Since there now will be two images from the same viewpoint, normalized cross correlation can be used to locate in image 2 the positions of features seen in image 1. These are well-known techniques, but this process must be performed ten times a second using relatively slow space-qualified hardware.

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