Coastal Optical Systems Inc., of West Palm Beach, Fla., has been awarded US Patent 6,831,680, involving interior aircraft monitoring using fisheye lenses and a data system. The patent describes the use of single and multiple hemispherical lenses, onboard image data recorders and data transmitters for monitoring the cockpit, cabin and luggage compartments. "With hemispherical lenses, it is possible to monitor each area of the plane with a single fixed camera," said Jay Kumler, president of Coastal. "Fisheye cameras have superior depth of field, and they do not require refocus, pan or tilt." The systems, designed to compliment existing flight data and voice recorders, would provide image data stored on the plane, pilot monitoring of areas outside the cockpit and transmission of image data in real time for ground-based analysis. Coastal specializes in development and manufacture of custom precision optical assemblies for the aerospace and defense, machine vision, biomedical and 3-D digital entertainment markets. The company is a subsidiary of Jenoptik Laser, Optik, Systeme GmbH, of Jena, Germany.