A high-speed edge-detecting line scan smart camera was developed. The camera is designed to operate as a component in a NASA Glenn Research Center developed inlet shock detection system. The inlet shock is detected by projecting a laser sheet through the airflow. The shock within the airflow is the densest part and refracts the laser sheet the most in its vicinity, leaving a dark spot or shadowgraph. These spots show up as a dip or negative peak within the pixel intensity profile of an image of the projected laser sheet. The smart camera acquires and processes in real-time the linear image containing the shock shadowgraph and outputting the shock location. Previously a highspeed camera and personal computer would perform the image capture and processing to determine the shock location.

This innovation consists of a linear image sensor, analog signal processing circuit, and a digital circuit that provides a numerical digital output of the shock or negative edge location. The smart camera is capable of capturing and processing linear images at over 1,000 frames per second. The edges are identified as numeric pixel values within the linear array of pixels, and the edge location information can be sent out from the circuit in a variety of ways, such as by using a microcontroller and onboard or external digital interface to include serial data such as RS-232/485, USB, Ethernet, or CAN BUS; parallel digital data; or an analog signal. The smart camera system can be integrated into a small package with a relatively small number of parts, reducing size and increasing reliability over the previous imaging system.

This work was done by Norman F. Prokop of Glenn Research Center.

Inquiries concerning rights for the commercial use of this invention should be addressed to

NASA Glenn Research Center, Innovative Partnerships Office, Attn: Steven Fedor, Mail Stop 4–8, 21000 Brookpark Road, Cleveland, Ohio 44135.

Refer to LEW-18816-1.


Photonics Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the May, 2012 issue of Photonics Tech Briefs Magazine.

Read more articles from this issue here.

Read more articles from the archives here.