For many years 16 mm film cameras have been used in severe environments. These film cameras are used on Hy-G automotive sleds, airborne weapon testing, range tracking, and other hazardous environments. The companies and government agencies using these cameras are in need of replacing them with a more cost-effective solution. Film-based cameras still produce the best resolving capability. However, film development time, chemical disposal, non-optimal lighting conditions, recurring media cost, and faster digital analysis are factors influencing the desire for a 16 mm film camera replacement. This paper will describe a new imager from Kodak that has been designed to replace 16 mm high- speed film cameras. Also included is a detailed configuration, operational scenario, and cost analysis of Kodak's imager for airborne applications.
The KODAK EKTAPRO HG Imager, Model 2000 is a high-resolution color or monochrome CCD camera especially designed for replacement of rugged high-speed film cameras. The HG Imager is a self-contained camera. It features a high-resolution [512x384], light-sensitive CCD sensor with an electronic shutter. This shutter provides blooming protection that prevents "smearing" of bright light sources, e.g., camera looking into a bright sun reflection. The HG Imager is a very rugged camera packaged in a highly integrated housing. This imager operates from +22 to 42 VDC. The HG Imager has a similar interface and form factor is that of high-speed film cameras, e.g., Photosonics 1B. However, the HG also has the digital interfaces such as 100BaseT Ethernet and RS-485 that enable control and image transfer. The HG Imager is designed to replace 16 mm film cameras that support rugged testing applications.