No place to hide from imaging

Machine-vision and imaging systems can deliver accurate information about an object under scrutiny whether positioned miles away or located adjacent to the object. For example, the desired object can be viewed from above the Earth, while hidden within human organs, or even covered by a protective coating. In addition, for many applications, current imaging systems are generating 3-D data and displays of these objects.

May 1st, 1998

No place to hide from imaging

George Kotelly Executive Editor

georgek@pennwell.com

Machine-vision and imaging systems can deliver accurate information about an object under scrutiny whether positioned miles away or located adjacent to the object. For example, the desired object can be viewed from above the Earth, while hidden within human organs, or even covered by a protective coating. In addition, for many applications, current imaging systems are generating 3-D data and displays of these objects.

As described by science writer David Wilson, a US Geological Survey infrared imaging spectrometer, carried in aircraft flying at high altitudes, is mapping large terrestrial surface areas and generating data for detecting specific minerals, vegetation, and land croppings .

In medical imaging, surgeons can now probe and study the human brain in greater detail. Specifically, current image-processing software is transforming magnetic-resonance-imaging data into three-dimensional data representations for automating, speeding, and improving patient diagnosis, says Andrew J. Worth.

An optical, noncontact sensing and imaging test system is providing continuous product, process, and quality control of an extrusion process that applies a clear plastic coating on small-diameter wire. It delivers real-time data results, says Åse M. Ballangrud and Norman N. Axelrod, that immediately adjust the extrusion process to prevent the production of long lengths of unusable, out-of-tolerance wire.

As spotlighted by editor-at-large Andy Wilson, rotational moving screen and varifocal imaging-device technologies are finding their way into holographic-based 3-D images. To improve present techniques, researchers are studying novel 3-D display media to generate true 3-D images.

To analyze application data, system developers previously had few choices for selecting image-processing software-development tools. Now, however, claims Andy Wilson, several software packages based on icons can be used to create image-processing applications using a similar graphical user interface.

This month Vision Systems Design introduces a column, Software Vision, written by an industry expert. This column describes, discusses, and analyzes the capabilities of available image-processing software techniques along with practical applications.

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