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High-Speed Camera Tackles Data-Sensitive Applications

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A team from Heriot-Watt University has developed a high-speed, high-definition camera that its designers said overcomes the common limits of existing high-speed imaging devices: poor resolution at a high frame rate and high cost. The team’s compressive coded rotating mirror (CCRM) camera features integrated optical encoding and compression, which adds a layer of encryption on the observed data. The encoding and compression also facilitate the integration of the camera with imaging applications that require highly efficient data encryption and compression caused by capturing highly sensitive data or limited transmission and storage capacities. 

Additionally, the researchers built the camera from off-the-shelf components; the reduced manufacturing cost is expected to increase access to the modality. The camera is suitable for military and medical applications where data security is a high priority. 

Traditionally, high-speed cameras achieve ultrahigh frame rates at the expense of image resolution, making image quality a potential barrier to certain applications. The high cost of high-speed cameras also hinders their widespread adoption.
Lighter sparks from high-speed imaging demonstration. Courtesy of Heriot-Watt University.
Lighter sparks from high-speed imaging demonstration. The camera design features integrated optical encoding and compression, which adds a layer of encryption on the observed data. The device supports image-capture applications in which data security is a high priority. Courtesy of Heriot-Watt University.
The camera uses a novel architecture and advanced mathematical algorithm to deliver high-resolution images across its full speed range. It operates under amplitude optical encoding and frame sweeping modalities in a passive imaging mode that is capable of reconstructing 1400 frames from a single-shot image acquisition. It achieves the highest compression ratio of 368 compared to the other compressive sensing based single-shot imaging modalities. 
Xu Wang, inventor of the technology and an associate professor in the Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences at Heriot-Watt University. Courtesy of Heriot-Watt University.
Xu Wang, inventor of the technology and an associate professor at the Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences at Heriot-Watt University. Courtesy of Heriot-Watt University.

The researchers anticipate the camera extending beyond traditional research and development to support a variety of industries where they have identified a potential demand for high-speed imaging, such as in rail transportation, manufacturing, medicine, and quantum photonics, in addition to traditional areas such as microfluidics, fluidic dynamics, and ballistics studies.

The Heriot-Watt-based researchers built the camera using funding from Scottish Enterprise’s High Growth Spinout Programme. They are in the process of commercializing the device.

A paper describing the camera was published in Scientific Reports (www.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-02520-8).


Vision-Spectra.com
Feb 2022
Businesscamerasimaginghigh speed imagingultrafast imagingHeriot-Watt UniversityScotlandfundingstartupspinoutencryptiondata encryptionencryptedlow costdisruptiveindustrialmilitarymedicalEuropeScottish EnterpriseHigh Growth Spinout Programme

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