The KODAK MEGAPLUS Camera Model 1.4 was redesigned and features greatly improved performance capability. In particular, the CCD imager is operated in a mode (accumulation mode) that provides a dramatic reduction in dark current and dark current-related noise. The camera uses high-bandwidth low-noise electronics to produce the highest image quality possible. The camera's dual-blade electro-mechanical shutter eliminates non-uniform exposure effects and provides greatly improved reliability.
Cooled, slow-scan CCD cameras are the systems of choice when there is a requirement for systems to work at the lowest light levels or with the most extreme dynamic range. Developments in the design of these systems have led to new architectures that allow very wide dynamic range imaging (up to 20-bits) or optionally full 16-bits at up to 400 Khz pixel rates or multiple CCD output channels at even faster rates. Additionally they allow very complicated read-out patterns to be programmed for fast multiple sub-array read-out rates for applications in many different areas. The controllers allow extensive on-board image processing and analysis to improve system throughput in time-critical applications. For efficient use such systems need to be closely integrated with software systems that allow the user to get the very best from the data produced by the cameras.
In this paper we present a new hardware design of an image processing system by using a dedicated image processor. The system consists of an integrated 2D convolver which performs a 2D convolution between the pixels present within a video window and a set of stored coefficients which are programmable. Two area sensors are used for color image acquisition and applications. Specialized memories (dual-port static RAM and SyncFIFO), have been used between the host machine (IBM AT) and the video A/D converter (VADC) respectively. The system is very flexible in the sense that the supporting logic can be programmed even in the midst of their operation, thus analyzing images in real-time. Some characteristics of the systems are: (1) a 3 X 3 convolution of a 512 X 512 8-bit image is carried out in 1.88 sec, (2) clock speed of up to 40 MHz is possible, (3) number of allowed cascaded processors is 16. The design is a partial solution to the image processing applications.
With the aim of providing a digital electronic replacement for conventional photography of paintings, a scanner has been constructed based on a 3000 X 2300 pel resolution camera which is moved precisely over a 1 meter square area. Successive patches are assembled to form a mosaic which covers the whole area at c. 20 pels/mm resolution, which is sufficient to resolve the surface textures, particularly craquelure. To provide high color accuracy, a set of seven broad-band interference filters are used to cover the visible spectrum. A calibration procedure based upon a least-mean-squares fit to the color of patches from a Macbeth Colorchecker chart yields an average color accuracy of better than 3 units in the CMC uniform color space. This work was mainly carried out as part of the VASARI project funded by the European Commission's ESPRIT program, involving companies and galleries from around Europe. The system is being used to record images for conservation research, for archival purposes and to assist in computer-aided learning in the field of art history. The paper will describe the overall system design, including the selection of the various hardware components and the design of controlling software. The theoretical basis for the color calibration methodology is described as well as the software for its practical implementation. The mosaic assembly procedure and some of the associated image processing routines developed are described. Preliminary results from the research will be presented.
Included in an European Project about stereoscopic Imaging, a 3D pick-up equipment will be developed. This equipment represents an advance tool inasmuch as the goal is to build an automatic and motorized camera. The motorization of this equipment allows precise and remote controls. This is required to provide the large and symmetric adjustments for optics and the system. This means we modify the values of the optical and mechanical parameters (focal length, interaxial, angle of convergence) to provide optimal stereo pictures. Two kinds of functioning are planned. The first kind corresponds to preprogrammed values which regulate all parameters for an expected stereoscopic quality. The second kind allows the cameraman to be free in order to introduce special effects or test special condition to obtain psychophysical results. The image quality will correspond to the CCIR 601 standard for both channels.
CCD cameras are used in more applications in more fields today than in the past. As the areas of application change, so do the camera requirements. One area that has received a lot of attention lately is the pixel readout speed. So called 'slow scan' CCD cameras are achieving pixel rates that approach those of RS-170 video. Faster readout rates require major modifications to the circuits that are common in slower CCD camera systems. In this paper, we discuss some of the design implications of higher frame rate CCD cameras and methods used to improve performance at these higher rates.
Cooled, slow-scan CCD cameras are the systems of choice when there is a requirement for systems to work at the lowest light levels or with the most extreme dynamic range. Systems are available now with as much as 20-bit dynamic range and intelligent read-out (multiple sub- arrays, on chip binning, on board processing power). The principal draw-back in such systems is the relatively slow read-out rate that makes such systems inappropriate for the measurement of fast changing scenes that require real-time response and often makes the setting-up of a slow-scan system especially tedious (alignment and focusing). A new CCD system has been developed by Astromed that allows the best of both worlds. It provides a fast read-out rate for alignment, focusing or set-up, and a selection of slower rates for data taking. Full on-chip binning, and sub-array read-out are allowed with a wide dynamic range, fast analog-to-digital converter. A sophisticated software package allows an extensive range of data taking, reduction, display and analysis facilities.
SICam is a low noise microprocessor-based digital instrumentation camera developed to meet the versatile performance requirements of many scientific and automated vision applications. SICam's unique features allow dynamic control and monitoring in imaging applications including analytical measurement, low light imaging, and spectroscopy. Camera performance is optimized around a new large format, low noise, 512 X 512 CID image sensor incorporating square 28 micrometers X 28 micrometers pixels. The LN2 cooled camera outputs 14-bit digital pixel data which can be extracted randomly and non-destructively from individual pixels, multiple sub-arrays, or from the entire imager. CID's have the unique capability to skim accumulated pixel charge and/or non-destructively read pixel information, enabling the system user to monitor events and dynamically adapt application exposure in real- time for the entire array or individual pixels. Non-destructive readout is also used to extend linear dynamic range. The system operates from PC/AT-compatible platforms.
A new generation, large frame (1317 X 1035 pel) digital camera, based on the MicroImager 1400 (MI1400), has been developed. The new MicroImager 1400-12 (MI1400- 12) uses improved noise reduction circuits to allow for 12 bit digitization up to 8 Mpel/s. Methods of correlated double sampling were investigated and a clamp-and-sample design was chosen. The MicroImager is a full frame device with a 100% fill factor. Integration time, readout frequency and pixel additive mode (binning) are under computer control. The camera outputs digital, RS-422 compatible data to the host frame memory through a 50-pin high density connector. The system is compatible with various (E)ISA and VME based imaging boards. The applications are quantitative digital microscopy in brightfield and fluorescence and in numerous industrial and medical camera applications. A number of comparative performance measurements were defined and carried out including spatial resolution (impulse response), photometric response (linearity), sensitivity, dynamic range, signal-to-noise ratio and other noise parameters. The MI1400-12 has a slightly improved impulse response. When used with primary image plane optics, the MicroImager shows a 6% improvement in the spatial resolution over standard C-mount compensation optics. In further comparisons the linearity of the MI1400-12's response holds to a coefficient of regression larger than 0.999 and has a four-fold increase in sensitivity over the MI1400. A dynamic range of 61 dB was measured for single frames corresponding to an 8 dB increase. For a 30 frame average, 77 dB was achieved. Circuit noise parameters (random noise at dark levels) improved by a factor of 3 to 4.
We have developed a CCD-based, high performance, filmless imaging system for stereotactic biopsy procedures in mammography. The CCD camera is based on a 1024 X 1024 pixel format, full-frame, scientific grade, front-illuminated, MPP mode CCD, directly coupled to an X-ray intensifying screen via a 2:1 fiber optic reducer. The CCD is cooled to -10 degree(s)C, and is digitized in slow-scan, correlated double sampling mode at 500 Kpixels/second with 12-bit contrast resolution. X-ray images acquired with the system are processed and displayed on a high resolution monitor within 20 seconds of exposure. System design and specifications will be described, and evaluation of physical performance characteristics will be discussed. The system has been used in over 100 stereotactic breast biopsy procedures to date, and has been shown to significantly improve the speed and accuracy of the biopsy procedure, due to the near real-time acquisition and display of x-ray images. Initial results also indicate that the fiber optic coupled CCD-based imaging system provides superior detectability of low contrast breast lesions and microcalcifications at lower patient dose, as compared to conventional film-screen detectors.
The design and performance capability of the KODAK MEGAPLUS XRC Camera is described. This CCD camera generates 24 bit high resolution images in a frame-sequential (R- G-B) fashion. A unique image dithering capability permits variable resolution of either 1320 H X 1035 V or 2640 H X 1035 V light-sensitive pixels. The KODAK MEGAPLUS XRC Camera interfaces to an associated Signal Processing Unit (SPU). The SPU consists of a pipelined multi-processor circuit that performs a variety of image processing operations in 'real time'. These operations consist of: white balance control; aperture correction; color correction; and gamma correction. The time to capture, enhance and display a full-color high- resolution processed image is 1.5 seconds.
A four CCD, multi-port, fiber-optically coupled mosaic camera system is described. System design issues and a functional overview of the camera are discussed with emphasis placed on the multi-port readout and data recombination aspects. Preliminary performance data are presented.
The mechanical components and assembly of a quad-CCD/fiber optic mosaic will be discussed. The camera has an effective image area approximately four inches square, with a cross shaped gap in the center of less than 100 microns. The sensor array consists of four Tektronix TK2048EF CCDs with 1:1 fiber optics attached. The image ends of the fiber are butted together to form a contiguous imaging area. The image area is greater than 4000 X 4000 picture elements (16 million pixels).
A new camera using TDI (Time Delay and Integration) technology, capable of capturing high resolution images from continuously moving documents has been successfully demonstrated. The new camera operated at a high speed (120 ips) scanning mail for high quality OCR (optical character recognition). The camera achieves a high quality throughput by using eight parallel processing channels which are digitized to 256 levels (8 bits) within the camera at a total effective speed of 80 Mhz. Previous image pickup units have suffered from low contrast and low resolution at high speed. This new camera has the ability of producing gray scale information per pixel in a relatively low (80 times less power) light environment compared to similar line scan cameras. The camera output consists of 8 channels of video digitized simultaneously to provide a resolution of 2048 pixels per line, operating to a maximum line rate of 32 kHz. Experimental results demonstrate the ruggedness of TDI and its usefulness in a field environment. Results show that contrast ability did not significantly degrade despite velocity mismatch of 2.5% between the camera and the imaged document.
The KODAK Professional PCD Film Scanner 4045 is a highly flexibly 4096 pixel, single pass color film scanner capable of scanning 35 mm to 4 X 5 in. film formats. This film scanner can provide output data in a wide variety of color metrics, including the Photo YCC color-encoding scheme that is used by KODAK Photo CD products. This paper describes the features and functions of this film scanner, the design considerations, image processing capabilities, and image quality performance (including MTF, color and tone scale reproduction, spatial resolution, radiometric resolution, and noise).
The Charge Coupled Device (CCD) has been widely used in full page scanner applications for many years. Since the length of a CCD is about one inch, a concave reduction lens is required to focus the image of a standard A4 size page of 8.5 inches width on the CCD. This results in a bulky assembly. Moreover, the whole assembly needs to be moved by a high power stepping motor, which suffers from a non-smooth movement causing distortion in the image. A contact type image sensor (CIS) module is designed to solve the aforementioned problem. The dimensions of an A4 size CIS module is only 18 X 18 X 224 mm. The module has all the elements required to capture an image. These are: (1) a hybrid image sensor board (which consists of a linear silicon butted image sensor array, an operational amplifier, and passive components); (2) an LED light source; (3) a one to one selfocTM lens; (4) a cover glass and (5) an aluminum case to house all of the above components. The hybrid image sensor board is fabricated by butting many silicon image sensor chips end-to-end on top of a ceramic substrate to achieve the desired length. Since the image sensor chip is silicon, the module can be operated at high clock rates with low noise characteristics. A resolution of 200 and 400 dots per inch (dpi) are designed and developed for facsimile and scanner applications. The CIS device description, operation and performance will be presented in this paper.
A color line scan camera is described in this paper which has three separate but simultaneous scans of Red, Green and Blue color with high resolution. Unlike previous cameras designed for color use in machine vision, this camera has high resolution per color (2098 pixels) without any non sensitive regions. This is achieved by employing a sensor which has three separate linear arrays integrated onto one chip with a different color filter over each linear array. The scan time between each color scan is equivalent to 8 scan lines. The camera produces an output per color which is digitized to 8 bits of grey scale at a total maximum speed of 30 MHz. This information can be obtained in a 24 bit wide format or the color outputs can be recombined in the camera so that each pixel is provided with three serial 8 bit values for each color. The camera is interfaced to a frame grabber which can correct for the line delay and provide display and analysis.
In this paper the design of a pixel image scanner (PIS) and its interface with two processors, the image processor (backend) and main processor is proposed. The detailed hardware logic needed for the main processor to address the 256 X 256 pixel image sensors locations, and the 64 K X 8 bit FIFO memory for buffering the digital data acquired for the PIS and which is to be made available to the backend (image) processor is presented. A two port static RAM, interfaces the two processors. The dual port RAM design is capable of generating an interrupt to the main processor in order to inform the availability of processed data. All the timing, control signals address, and data lines needed for the main processor are also discussed.
For several years, inspection integrators have had the use of fiberscopes which are employed as borescopes for use in remote inspection applications. However, these are limited to RS170 performance in terms of throughput, sensitivity, and resolution. This paper reports on a new machine vision camera which is small in size (2 inches by 3/4 inches in the image plane) yet offers the resolution and throughput of a variable scan camera. This miniature light weight camera for machine vision can be placed in spaces where physical size and weight are limitations, such as at the end of remote manipulator arms used in automated assembly. A miniature line scan camera using a 1024 pixel line scanner is discussed which has the added feature that video data from multiple remote camera heads can be electronically combined and digitized at a central controller. This permits multiple views of the same object from cameras which can be placed in a space less than 3 cubic inches. This flexibility permits the ease of placement of cameras on the assembly line.
Color images are treated at various scenes, such as offices, factories, etc.. The reason is that cheap equipment can be acquired easily. In treating colors, it is important that color matches between originals and reproductions. The color of reproductions, however, differs from ones of original images, because data of input equipment are unsuitable for input data of image output equipment. Therefore color adjustments are in great demand. Generally, color mismatch between the original and the reproduction is adjusted on computers. It is possible to convert linearly or non-linearly from one color to another color. A very simple method is an application of linear polynomial (3 X 3 matrix). This has an advantage of a cost performance. But it is difficult for general users to adjust colors because there is no suitable user interface and the relation between matrix elements and reproduced colors is not well known, so the color variation could not be predicted. We studied a color adjust method, by which general users can adjust color more easily. We adopted two reasons for the coordinate conversion method for this problem. First, the color is expressed with a characteristic coordinate, which depends on an input/output equipment. Secondly, the vector expresses physical value, which assists three-dimensional thought. As a result, visual color adjustments can be achieved. Then we implement a color adjust method with a graphical user interface. Images are adjusted only by dragging the pointers.
In the present paper we propose to use speckle-optics methods for development of all-optical scanners, mice, tracks-balls and other input devices. These methods possess high sensitivity and realization simplicity. A one-dimensional model of the all-optical scanner (mice) is described. The limits of sensitivity are also studied.
EG&G Reticon and Adaptive Optics Associates have developed a family of high resolution CCD cameras with a PC/AT host to fulfill imaging applications from medical science to industrial inspection. The MC4000 family of CCD cameras encompasses resolutions of 512 X 512, 1024 X 1024, and 2048 X 2048 pixels. All three of these high performance cameras interface to the SB4000, PC/AT controller, which serves as a frame buffer with up to 64 MBytes of storage, as well as providing all the required control, and setup parameters while the camera head is remotely located at distances of up to 100 ft. All of the MC4000 high resolution cameras employ MPP clocking to achieve high dynamic range without cooling the CCD sensor. The use of this low power clocking technique, surface mount components, electronic shutter and clever packaging have allowed Reticon to deliver the MC4000 cameras in convenient, rugged small housings. The MC4000 family provides users with a total imaging solution from leading edge sensors and electronics in ruggedized housings, to cables, power supplies, and a PC/AT frame buffer and controller card. All the components are designed to function together as a turn-key, self-contained system, or individual components can become part of a user's larger system. The MC4000 CCD camera family makes high resolution, electronic imaging an accessible tool for a wide range of applications.
This paper details the performance and shows images obtained from a 512 X 512 CCD camera capable of recording 400 digitized frames per second. A brief description of the data acquisition hardware and image analysis software is also included.