Imaging

Machine Vision System Measures ‘Drops’ in Citrus Grove Health

A University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher has developed a machine vision system to measure the quantity of a citrus grove’s dropped and decayed oranges. The fallen fruit provides an indication of a so-far incurable disease that has been spreading through Florida’s trees since its first appearance in the state in 2005.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Applications, Imaging, Photonics, Mathematical models, Diseases, Agricultural vehicles and equipment

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Thermal Camera

The T1030sc thermal imaging camera from FLIR Systems (Wilsonville, OR) features hardware, software, and a 1024 × 768 HD-IR detector. High-fidelity images are created using FLIR’s OSX™ Precision HDIR optics, which include an ultrasonic autofocus capability.

Posted in: Products, Cameras, Manufacturing & Prototyping

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Ultrasonic Piezo Motor Drives

Precision motion and nanopositioning systems specialist PI (Physik Instrumente) L.P. (Auburn, MA) recently released the smallest member in their miniature rotary stage series with ultrasonic piezo motor drives. The U-622 is joining two other high dynamics miniaturized ultrasonic rotary positioners, U-624 and U-628. Vacuum compatible versions to 10-6 hPa are available.

Posted in: Products, Imaging, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Photonics

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Frame Grabber

The FireBird Camera Link Deca board frame grabber from Active Silicon (Iver, UK) is now available in two form factors: a full-height version with front panel IO and a low-profile/half-height version. The low-profile design allows the FireBird Low Profile board to be used in small embedded PC enclosures and rack-mount cases where full-height PC cards are not suitable. A full-height bracket option is available for use in standard PC form-factor enclosures.

Posted in: Products, Imaging, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Photonics

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CMOS Cameras

SMARTEK Vision (New London, CT) offers the “twenty-nine” series of CMOS machine-vision cameras. Distributed by FRAMOS Technologies (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada), the 29 x 29- mm camera line fits GigE Vision and USB3 Vision with a high-speed sensor front-end into a miniature housing. Pixel sizes range from 5.86 μm and 3.45 μm down to 1.25 μm; sensor formats range from 1/2" to 1/3". The camera connects with C-Mount, Power-over-Ethernet (PoE), and general-purpose IOs (GPIO) via a 6-pin Hirose component.

Posted in: Products, Cameras, Manufacturing & Prototyping

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Motorized Actuators

A new series of low-cost DC drive motors from Siskiyou Corporation (Grants Pass, OR) enables precise, hands-free adjustment of translation stages and mirror mounts, using a simple, push-button control pad. Specifically, the new 500 series actuators can replace manual screw and micrometer adjusters on Siskiyou’s crossed roller bearing linear stages, kinematic mirror mounts, and IS OGP beam steering assembly for microscopes. The hand-held controller for operating these actuators offers two preset drive speeds (0.3 mm/s and 0.1 mm/second), as well as an adjustable low speed range (from 10 μm/s to 30 μm/s). The latter enables consistent, small moves (down to 1.0 μm) with a single, short button press.

Posted in: Products, Imaging, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Photonics

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3D Imaging Laser System

The system achieves high-resolution, real-time, three-dimensional imaging using an innovative single lens system. Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center has developed a non-scanning, 3D imaging laser system that uses a simple lens system to simultaneously generate a one-dimensional or two-dimensional array of optical (light) spots to illuminate an object, surface, or image to generate a topographic profile.

Posted in: Briefs, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Lasers, Terrain

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Smart Image Enhancement Process

Applications include improving pilot vision, real-time digital enhancement of videos, medical imaging, and thermal and night vision for surveillance systems. Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia NASA’s Langley Research Center researchers have developed an automatic measurement and control method for smart image enhancement. Pilots, doctors, and photographers will benefit from this innovation that offers a new approach to image processing. Initial advantages will be seen in improved medical imaging and nighttime photography. Standard image enhancement software is unable to improve poor quality conditions such as low light, poor clarity, and fog-like conditions. The technology consists of a set of comprehensive methods that performs well across a wide range of conditions encountered in arbitrary images. Conditions include large variations in lighting, scene characteristics, and atmospheric (or underwater) turbidity variations. NASA is seeking market insights on commercialization of this new technology, and welcomes interest from potential producers, users, and licensees.

Posted in: Briefs, Imaging, Measurements, Imaging and visualization

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Compact Thermal Neutron Imaging System Using Axisymmetric Focusing Mirrors

This technology uses grazing incidence reflective optics to produce focused beams of neutrons from commercially available sources. Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center has developed novel neutron grazing incidence optics for use with small-scale portable neutron generators. The technology was developed to enable the use of commercially available neutron generators for applications requiring high flux densities, including high-performance imaging and analysis. Nested grazing incidence mirror optics, with high collection efficiency, are used to produce divergent, parallel, or convergent neutron beams. Ray tracing simulations of the system (with source-object separation of 10 m for 5 meV neutrons) show nearly an order of magnitude neutron flux increase on a 1-mm-diameter object. The technology is a result of joint development efforts between NASA and MIT researchers seeking to maximize neutron flux from diffuse sources for imaging and testing applications.

Posted in: Briefs, Imaging, Mirrors, Imaging and visualization

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High-Speed Edge-Detecting Circuit for Use with Linear Image Sensor

Applications include supersonic jets, manufacturing, lane line tracking for vehicle control, bar code scanners, and digital photography. John H. Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio A new smart camera developed at NASA’s Glenn Research Center has the ability to process and transmit valuable edge location data for the images that it captures — at a rate of over 900 frames per second. The camera was designed to operate as a component in an inlet shock detection system for supersonic jets. A supersonic jet cannot function properly unless the airflow entering the machine is compressed and slowed to subsonic speed in the inlet before it reaches the engine. When supersonic air is compressed, it forms shock waves that can destroy the turbofan and surrounding components unless they are pinpointed and adjusted. This smart camera uses an edge detection signal processing circuit to determine the exact location of shock waves, and sends the location information via an onboard microcontroller or external digital interface. This highly customizable camera’s ability to quickly identify precise location data makes it ideal for a variety of other applications where high-speed edge detection is needed.

Posted in: Briefs, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Sensors and actuators, Hypersonic and supersonic aircraft

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