Advanced Imaging

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Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: January 12th, 2011 10:01 AM CDT

Freeze Frames

High-speed video cameras find their way into numerous new applications
bullet going through an orange
© Pulse Photonics Ltd.
A single high-speed video frame of a bullet going through an orange making the otherwise imperceptible, visible.
evolution of hot vapor and debris
© Prof. P.H. Schultz, Brown University/Geological Sciences (Providence R.I.) and NASA/Ames Research Center (Moffett Field Calif.
The evolution of hot vapor and debris (ejecta) being launched out of an impact crater.
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By Lee J. Nelson
Contributing Editor

Photron USA (San Diego, Calif.) catapults motion analysis to a whole new dimension with Fastcam SA1, addressing applications that previously were deemed unsuited to digital high-speed video. In its second iteration, the actively cooled Fastcam SA1 now offers speeds above the previous megapixel (1024x1024) rate of 5,400 fps to a blisteringly fast 675,000 fps at 64x16 resolution. Utilizing 12-bit next-generation CMOS sensor technology with a 20 μm pixel diameter, Fastcam SA1 is available in three memory configurations: the basic 8 GB stores about six seconds of video at full megapixel resolution. An optional 16 GB holds just over twelve seconds while 32 GB provide more than twenty-four seconds of storage. Multiple Fastcam SA1 cameras can be synchronized together, to a master camera or to an external source. Image data are output in AVI, BMP, FTIF (12-bit), JPEG, PNG (12-bit), RAW, RAWW (12-bit) and TIFF formats. An optional microsecond global electronic shutter—which the user sets independently of frame rate—reduces the inter-frame interval, making it an even more powerful instrument for ballistics, digital image correlation and particle velocimetry among other time-critical studies.

Pulse Photonics Ltd. (Southampton, Hampshire U.K.) debuts its PCO 1200 HS, featuring enhanced resolution (1280x1024 pixels) and low noise. The 10-bit CMOS camera records at up to 1 GB per second with exposure times ranging from 1 µsec to 100 msec. All functions are managed via PCI CardBus/PCMCIA and image data are transferred from on-board memory over industry-standard interfaces (CameraLink, Ethernet EIA-802.3, Firewire EIA-1394, USB 2.0).

MotionScope M-3 (Redlake Inc./IDT, Tallahassee, Fla.) benefits from a 1280x1024-pixel sensor which delivers 520 fps. For more arcane requirements, MotionScope M-5 acquires four megapixels at sustained rates in excess of 150 fps. Electronics are packaged in a compact, ruggedize housing to withstand high g-forces and vibration. Optimal performance and ease-of-use are bolstered by MotionPro X software and CameraLink, Dalsa's (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada)Coreco X64 and PCI-E interface modules. The MotionPro X suite and SDK allow all M-series to interoperate with IDT X-series and Redlake MotionXtra camera systems. Both MotionPro models profit from pre- and post-triggering for event capture, circular buffering, external synchronization and flexible regions of interest. For exceptional storage, the company supplies a dedicated disk array.

Arguably, one of the most widely viewed slo-mo clips in sports history was the jaw-dropping, ball-pinned-against-the-helmet reception by wide receiver David Tyree that paved the way for the New York Giants' come-from-behind win in last February's Super Bowl XLII. That action was depicted through the lens of Phantom v10 (Vision Research, Inc., Wayne, N.J.).

Anticipating a merge into cinematography-oriented applications, Vision Research has outfitted Phantom v10 with continuous HD-SDI (High Definition-Serial Digital Interface) outputs in addition to customary NTSC and PAL formats. A 14-bit CMOS sensor offers 480 fps at full 2400x1800-pixel resolution at 4:3 aspect ratio. With its Continuously Adjustable Resolution feature, users can alter the active image area in 96x8-pixel increments to match the field-of-view to a subject's shape and dimension in both horizontal and vertical planes. Speed jumps to almost 1,000 fps at 1920x1080 pixels. Electronic shuttering is continuously variable down to 2 µsec. And, for lengthy record times, Vision Research furnishes Phantom v10 with their Image3 external storage solution and the ability to stream realtime image data of virtually unlimited proportion.



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