ETTLINGEN, Germany, Aug. 16, 2010 — For demanding machine vision applications, Vision Components GmbH is offering the VC4467/NIR sensitive image processing systems in the shape of a fist-size camera. The cameras feature an EXview HAD CCD sensor from Sony that detects both visible light waves and long-wave light near the infrared spectrum. They ensure precise image recording even in low-light conditions. The sensor has been modified to further increase sensitivity in the near-infrared range and, as a result, the cameras produce high-quality data at wavelengths up to 1100 nm and are suited for tasks such as electroluminescence quality control in the photovoltaic industry. Monitoring the production of solar cells, they reliably detect and identify defects such as microcracks, shunts and disconnected fingers. The intelligent NIR cameras meet all requirements for nighttime use and, even at a distance, image capture is effective. The resolution equals that of similar systems that do not feature integrated intelligence. Unlike those, the cost-efficient and flexible image processors do not require cooling systems, since they include all image processing electronics and operate without any additional PC systems. The intelligent cameras independently run functions such as motion detection and license plate recognition. Optional robust housings provide protection for outdoor applications. Measuring 110 × 50 × 35 mm, the units can be integrated into small spaces. The absence of moving parts makes the systems, which weigh 400 g, a suitable choice for mobile applications. They process several images in parallel and transmit the data in real time. Equipped with a 1-GHz processor from Texas Instruments, they have a computing power of 8000 million instructions per second. The ?-in. CCD sensor produces 1280 × 1024-pixel resolution and provides a maximum frame rate of 14 fps, or 28 fps in binning mode. Standard camera models are equipped with 4-MB Flash EPROM and 64-MB SDRAM for program and image storage, which can be optionally extended by a 128-MB SD card. The Smart Cameras come with four digital programmable logic controller inputs and outputs each, an SVGA video output, an RS-232 and an Ethernet interface, a high-speed encoder interface and an external trigger input that enables jitter-free image recording even at high reading frequencies. Users can easily adapt the cameras to specific requirements by means of the programming languages C and C++. Software libraries for many applications such as motion detection and face recognition are available. Combined with the VC Solar Solution software library, the cameras are autonomous robot guidance solutions for solar cell production.