Imaging

Access our comprehensive library of technical briefs on imaging, from engineering experts at NASA and major government, university, and commercial laboratories.

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
New Optics See More with Less

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center has developed a technology that combines a panoramic refracting optic (PRO) lens with a unique detection system to acquire a true 360-degree field of view. Although current imaging systems can acquire panoramic images, they must use up to five cameras to obtain the full field of...

Briefs : Imaging
Stereoscopic Imaging in Hypersonic Boundary Layers Using Planar Laser-Induced Fluorescence

Stereoscopic time-resolved visualization of three-dimensional structures in a hypersonic flow was performed for the first time in NASA Langley Research Center’s 31-inch Mach 10 Air Tunnel. Nitric oxide (NO) was seeded into hypersonic boundary layer flows...

Briefs : Imaging
Color-Changing Surface Tunable Through Electrical Voltage

Video screens are made up of hundreds of thousands of pixels that display different colors to form the images. With current technology, each of these pixels contains three subpixels — one red, one green, and one blue. A new method was developed to tune the color of the subpixels. The...

Briefs : Imaging
Improved 3D Imaging Using Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)
Improved 3D Imaging Using Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a high-resolution live imaging technique that can be used for early detection of retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration,...

Improved 3D Imaging Using Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)
Briefs : Imaging
Dual-Field-of-View Multiband Optics

Multi-spectral-band systems are steadily emerging as a desired feature in a camera system. Each spectral band offers different image characteristics. Shorter-wavelength spectral bands provide the potential for better resolution due to the smaller impact of diffraction on the size of the optics blur. This means...

Briefs : Imaging
Optical Ultrasound Needle for Heart Surgery
Optical Ultrasound Needle for Heart Surgery

Doctors currently rely on external ultrasound probes, combined with pre-operative imaging scans, to visualize soft tissue and organs during minimally invasive procedures, as the miniature surgical...

Optical Ultrasound Needle for Heart Surgery
Briefs : Imaging
Microscope Scans Tumors During Surgery and Examines Cancer Biopsies in 3D
Microscope Scans Tumors During Surgery and Examines Cancer Biopsies in 3D

Currently there is no reliable way to determine, during tumor-removal surgery, whether the excised tissue is completely cancer-free at its margins — the proof that...

Microscope Scans Tumors During Surgery and Examines Cancer Biopsies in 3D
Briefs : Imaging
Device-Free Motion Tracing Using WiFi Signals
Device-Free Motion Tracing Using WiFi Signals

Fine-grained human motion tracing — the ability to trace the trajectory of a moving human hand or leg, or even the whole body — is a general capability that is useful in a wide variety of...

Device-Free Motion Tracing Using WiFi Signals
Briefs : Imaging
Detector System for High-Resolution Imaging
Detector System for High-Resolution Imaging

A large-area detector without any dead space capable of handling a large dynamic range does not currently exist. Current large-area detectors have dead zones created by abutting several modules...

Detector System for High-Resolution Imaging
Briefs : Imaging
Method for Tracking Moving Targets
Method for Tracking Moving Targets

Moving target indication (MTI) methodologies are essential tools to detect, locate, recognize, and track the moving targets of interest in a movie or video sequence. Different MTI methodologies can be...

Method for Tracking Moving Targets
Briefs : Imaging
Method Uses Drones and WiFi to Enable 3D Through-Wall Imaging
Method Uses Drones and WiFi to Enable 3D Through-Wall Imaging

WiFi signals are everywhere. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, or drones) are expected to become a larger part of everyday life. A new methodology was developed for high-resolution,...

Method Uses Drones and WiFi to Enable 3D Through-Wall Imaging
Briefs : Imaging
Image-Based User Authentication

In other user authentication systems, a user authenticates identity by selecting a particular image that is then matched to a previous choice. This invention enables greater security for access control systems by combining facial recognition technology with a user authentication question.

Briefs : Defense
Machine Vision System

A number of instruments have been built to obtain range images — a two-dimensional array of numbers that gives the depth of a scene along many directions from a central point in the instrument. Instead of measuring the brightness of many points in a scene, as in a television camera, these instruments measure where each...

Briefs : Imaging
Linear Fresnel Spectrometer Chip with Gradient Line Grating

NASA's Langley Research Center has built a very small spectrometer by integrating a differential linear Fresnel lens onto an imaging chip. NASA is using the lens/chip in a very small spectrometer that will be mounted on the tires of a rover to analyze soil on the Moon or Mars. The...

Briefs : Imaging
Lock-In Imaging System for Detecting Disturbances in Fluid

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed an aircraft-based turbulence and vortex detection system. Turbulence and vortices in the front-flight path are very dangerous for airplanes. Especially when an airplane is approaching the airfield to land, the altitude near the airfield is...

Briefs : Imaging
Curved Sensor Improves Image Quality Captured with Digital Cameras

In dark environments, it is often difficult to get a clear, high-quality image. To address this problem, a method was developed for spherically curving the flat image sensors found in digital cameras. The curved sensors could be used to create better cameras for surveillance,...

Briefs : Imaging
Algorithm Enables Five-Dimensional Imaging in Living Organisms

Researchers use fluorescent imaging to locate proteins and other molecules in cells and tissues by tagging the molecules with dyes that glow under certain kinds of light — the same principle behind “black light” images. Fluorescent imaging can help scientists and researchers...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Microstructural Explorations Inside Fuel Cells

Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), a promising technology that can efficiently produce energy using fossil fuels with no moving parts and low emissions, present a particularly perplexing economic challenge: current systems operate at maximum efficiency between 700 and 1000 degrees Celsius, but such...

Briefs : Imaging
The Advanced Land Imager Helped NASA Mission Exceed Expectations.

After more than 16 years of operation, NASA’s Earth Observing–1 (EO-1) spacecraft was decommissioned on March 30 of this year. The Advanced Land Imager (ALI) developed by MIT Lincoln Laboratory was aboard as an alternative to the land-imaging sensor that was used by the...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Device and Method of Scintillating Quantum Dots for Radiation Imaging

NASA’s Langley Re search Center has developed Scintillating Quantum Dots for Imaging X-rays (SQDIX) technology that enables the creation of x-ray detectors that are more sensitive than current x-ray detectors. In addition to superior sensitivity, SQDIX also offers the...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
CUDA Framework for Linear Time-Invariant Control of Adaptive Optics Systems

Current science objectives, such as high-contrast imaging of exoplanets, have led to the development of high-order adaptive optics (AO) systems possessing several thousand deformable mirror (DM) actuators. These systems typically rely on integrator-based control...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Invertible Time Invariant Linear Filtering (InTILF) Method for Pattern Detection and Modeling of Stochastic One- or Two-Dimensional Data

X-ray astronomy offers the opportunity to observe important phenomena, including the early accretion of massive black holes and detecting diffuse ionized intergalactic gas that is heated to X-ray temperatures...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
One-Micron (1064-nm) Planar External Cavity Laser (PLANEX)

Ahighly reliable, very low-phase, and low-amplitude-noise laser is required as an oscillator for the LISA mission. A commercial product made by Redfern Integrated Optics met these requirements (1550-nm PLANEX External Cavity Laser), but it operated at 1.5 microns, not the required LISA...

Briefs : Imaging
Stereoscopic Imaging in Hypersonic Boundary Layers Using Planar Laser-Induced Fluorescence

Stereoscopic time-resolved visualization of three-dimensional structures in a hypersonic flow was performed for the first time in NASA Langley Research Center’s 31-inch Mach 10 Air Tunnel. Nitric oxide (NO) was seeded into hypersonic boundary layer flows...

Briefs : Imaging
3D Imaging Laser System

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.

Briefs : Imaging
Smart Image Enhancement Process

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...

Briefs : Imaging
Compact Thermal Neutron Imaging System Using Axisymmetric Focusing Mirrors

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...

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

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...

Briefs : Imaging
Two- and Three-Dimensional Near-Infrared Subcutaneous Structure Imager Using Adaptive Nonlinear Video Processing

Scientists at NASA’s Glenn Research Center have successfully developed a novel subcutaneous structure imager for locating veins in challenging patient populations, such as juvenile, elderly, dark-skinned, or obese patients. Spurred...

Briefs : Imaging
Methods of Real-Time Image Enhancement of Flash LIDAR Data and Navigating a Vehicle Using Flash LIDAR Data

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed 3D imaging technologies (Flash LIDAR) for real-time terrain mapping and synthetic vision-based navigation. To take advantage of the information inherent in a sequence of 3D images acquired at...