Multiscale parallel imaging--based on a monocentric optical design--promises revolutionary advances in diverse imaging applications by enabling high resolution, real-time image capture over a wide field-of-view (FOV), including sport broadcast, wide-field microscopy, astronomy, and security surveillance. Recently demonstrated AWARE-2 is a gigapixel camera consisting of an objective lens and 98 microcameras spherically arranged to capture an image over FOV of 120° by 50°, using computational image processing to form a composite image of 0.96 gigapixels. Since microcameras are capable of individually adjusting exposure, gain, and focus, true parallel imaging is achieved with a high dynamic range. From the integration perspective, manufacturing and verifying consistent quality of microcameras is a key to successful realization of AWARE cameras. We have developed an efficient testing methodology that utilizes a precisely fabricated dot grid chart as a calibration target to extract critical optical properties such as optical distortion, veiling glare index, and modulation transfer function to validate imaging performance of microcameras. This approach utilizes an AWARE objective lens simulator which mimics the actual objective lens but operates with a short object distance, suitable for a laboratory environment. Here we describe the principles of the methodologies developed for AWARE microcameras and discuss the experimental results with our prototype microcameras.
Brady, D. J., Gehm, M. E., Stack, R. A., Marks, D. L., Kittle, D. S., Golish, D. R., Vera, E. M., and Feller,
S. D., “Multiscale gigapixel photography,” Nature 486, 386--389 (2012).