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CAOS Camera Transforms Incident Light to Capture Multispectral Targets

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Researchers at the University College Cork, Ireland have developed a visible short-wave infrared (SWIR) dual simultaneous band CAOS camera. The new camera demonstrated an extreme 136-dB dynamic range capability, a 56-dB improvement over previous CAOS camera demonstrations.

Current multipixel sensor cameras face difficulty when viewing extreme contrast multispectral bright and weak targets over broad spectral bands. The demonstrated CAOS camera allows precise and smart spatial as well as spectral capture of the previously invisible multicolor targets by transforming the incident light into mobile phone-type time-frequency encoded signals that undergo light-detection and extreme dynamic range decoding via electronic wireless technology.

The camera has successfully imaged a target scene containing three visible (red, green, blue) LEDs and one 1450-nm SWIR LED. The research team led by Nabeel Riza, chair professor of electrical engineering at the School of Engineering, used a laser-based extreme brightness test target that is subject to nearly 7 decades (107) of gradual optical attenuation. When used with classic multispectral and hyperspectral imagers, this camera can extract useful spectrum-specific irradiance image pixel data required by the end user.

Applications for this dual-band CAOS camera include industrial machine vision, food processing, archaeology and art conservation.

The work is described in a paper published in the OSA on-line open access journal Optics Express (
Jan 2017
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