Embedded System for Machine Vision

The EyeVBox II system from EVT (Karlsruhe, Germany) offers an Intel® AtomTM processor, four USB 2.0 interfaces at the back of the device, and two USB 2.0 interfaces at the front; interfaces, such as DVI-I and HDMI, are also available. Because the processors feature low-power consumption from the embedded or laptop area, the EyeVBox II does not need a fan and can be operated passively.

Posted in: Products, Imaging

GigE Smart Camera

ADLINK (Taipei, Taiwan) has released a quad-core x86 smart camera, the NEON-1040. The device features a 4-MP 60-fps global shutter sensor, quad core Intel® Atom™ 1.9 GHz processors, and flexible software support. With FPGA coprocessor support, the NEON-1040 accelerates image pre-processing, including LUT (look up table), ROI (region of interest), and shading correction.

Posted in: Products, Imaging

CMOS Cameras

The LX series from Baumer (Radeberg, Germany) features high-resolution CMOSIS sensors, a dual GigE interface, and 240 MB/s bandwidth. The cameras operate with 8-, 12-, and 20-megapixel resolutions. Eight- and 12-megapixel models utilize the CMOSIS 5.5 μm pixel design. The 20 MP model, with 6.4-μm pixel structure, features a low noise of 8 e- and a dynamic range of 66 dB. Because of its standard-compliant Dual GigE interface, the 20-MP GigE Vision camera currently available enables cost-efficient system integration.

Posted in: Products, Imaging

Custom Surface Inspection System for Safety-Critical Processes

Researchers have engineered a high-precision modular inspection system that can be adapted on a customer-specific basis and integrated into the production process. Before a workpiece leaves the production plant, it is subjected to rigorous inspection. For safety-critical applications such as in the automotive or aerospace industries, manufacturers can only use the most impeccable parts.

Posted in: News, Aerospace, Automotive, Cameras, Imaging, Consumer Product Manufacturing, Industrial Controls & Automation, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement

New Laser Technology to Make 2020 Mission to Mars

NASA announced recently that laser technology originally developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory has been selected for its new Mars mission in 2020. SuperCam, which builds upon the successful capabilities demonstrated aboard the Curiosity Rover during NASA’s current Mars Mission, will allow researchers to sample rocks and other targets from a distance using a laser.

Posted in: News, Aerospace, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Imaging, Lasers & Laser Systems, Photonics, Automation, Detectors, Sensors, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement

NASA Engineer Set to Complete First 3D-Printed Space Cameras

By the end of September, NASA aerospace engineer Jason Budinoff is expected to complete the first imaging telescopes ever assembled almost exclusively from 3D-manufactured components.

Under his multi-pronged project, funded by Goddard’s Internal Research and Development (IRAD) program, Budinoff is building a fully functional, 50-millimeter (2-inch) camera whose outer tube, baffles and optical mounts are all printed as a single structure. The instrument is appropriately sized for a CubeSat, a tiny satellite comprised of individual units each about four inches on a side. The instrument will be equipped with conventionally fabricated mirrors and glass lenses and will undergo vibration and thermal-vacuum testing next year.

Budinoff also is assembling a 350-millimeter (14-inch) dual-channel telescope whose size is more representative of a typical space telescope.

Should he prove the approach, Budinoff said NASA scientists would benefit enormously — particularly those interested in building infrared-sensing instruments, which typically operate at super-cold temperatures to gather the infrared light that can be easily overwhelmed by instrument-generated heat. Often, these instruments are made of different materials. However, if all the instrument’s components, including the mirrors, were made of aluminum, then many of the separate parts could be 3D printed as single structures, reducing the parts count and material mismatch. This would decrease the number of interfaces and increase the instrument’s stability.


Also: Learn about an Image Processing Method To Determine Dust Optical Density.

Posted in: News, Aerospace, Cameras, Imaging, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling, Optics, Photonics, RF & Microwave Electronics

Researchers Extract Audio from Visual Information

Researchers at MIT, Microsoft, and Adobe have developed an algorithm that can reconstruct an audio signal by analyzing minute vibrations of objects depicted in video. In one set of experiments, the team was able to recover intelligible speech from the vibrations of a potato-chip bag photographed from 15 feet away through soundproof glass.

"When sound hits an object, it causes the object to vibrate,” says Abe Davis, a graduate student in electrical engineering and computer science at MIT and first author on the new paper. “The motion of this vibration creates a very subtle visual signal that’s usually invisible to the naked eye. People didn’t realize that this information was there.”

Reconstructing audio from video requires that the frequency of the video samples — the number of frames of video captured per second — be higher than the frequency of the audio signal. In some of their experiments, the researchers used a high-speed camera that captured 2,000 to 6,000 frames per second.

The researchers’ technique has obvious applications in law enforcement and forensics, but Davis is more enthusiastic about the possibility of what he describes as a “new kind of imaging.”

“We’re recovering sounds from objects,” he says. “That gives us a lot of information about the sound that’s going on around the object, but it also gives us a lot of information about the object itself, because different objects are going to respond to sound in different ways.” In ongoing work, the researchers have begun trying to determine material and structural properties of objects from their visible response to short bursts of sound.


Also: Learn about Enhanced Auditory Alert Systems.

Posted in: News, Electronics & Computers, Cameras, Imaging, Video, Software

Cassini Spacecraft Reveals Geysers and More on Saturn Moon

Scientists using mission data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft have identified 101 distinct geysers erupting on Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus. Their analysis suggests it is possible for liquid water to reach from the moon’s underground sea all the way to its surface.

Posted in: News, Aerospace, Imaging

Acoustic Bottle Bends Paths of Sound Waves

Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed a technique for generating acoustic bottles in open air that can bend the paths of sound waves along prescribed convex trajectories.

The acoustic “bottle” features a three-dimensional curved shell, in which a wall of high acoustic pressure surrounds a null pressure region in the middle. Sound waves forming the bottle are concentrated into a beam that travels through the high pressure wall of its curved shell. The sound waves are generated by an array of loud speakers, 1.5 centimeters in diameter and spaces 2.5 centimeters apart, operating at a frequency of 10 kilo Hertz (kHz) and can be launched along a designated trajectory by precisely adjusting the phase profile of the speaker array.

Because the high pressure wall of the acoustic bottle exerts a pulling force, there are no sound waves passing through the null pressure interior of the bottle and the bottle can be used for acoustic trapping.

"Our acoustic bottle beams open new avenues to applications in which there is a need to access hard-to-reach objects hidden behind obstacles, such as acoustic imaging and therapeutic ultrasound through inhomogeneous media,” said team member Tongcang Li. “We can also use an acoustic bottle as a cloaking device, re-routing sound waves around an object and then recovering them in their original form, making the object invisible to sonar detection.”

Acoustic bottle beams might also serve another application: acoustic levitation, in which sound waves are used to lift and manipulate millimeter-sized objects, including particles, microorganisms and droplets of water.


Also: Learn about a High-Temperature Surface-Acoustic-Wave Transducer.

Posted in: News, Imaging

Army to Get New IED Detector Technology

Detecting improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan requires constant, intensive monitoring using rugged equipment. When Sandia researchers first demonstrated a modified miniature synthetic aperture radar (MiniSAR) system to do just that, some experts didn't believe it. But those early doubts are long gone. Sandia's Copperhead — a highly modified MiniSAR system mounted on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) — has been uncovering IEDs in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2009. Now, according to senior manager Jim Hudgens, Sandia is transferring the technology to the U.S. Army to support combat military personnel.

Posted in: News, Defense, Electronics & Computers, Imaging, Antennas, RF & Microwave Electronics, Data Acquisition, Detectors, Sensors

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