Dual-CCD camera simultaneously captures two channels of video

MARCH 17, 2009--The AD-081CL high dynamic range (HDR) camera, an addition to the Advanced tier of the C3 Camera Suite, features a two-CCD design with two standard ICX204AL 1/3-in., monochrome, progressive-scan sensors mounted to a custom-designed optical prism.

MARCH 17, 2009--The AD-081CL high dynamic range (HDR) camera, an addition to the Advanced tier of the C3 Camera Suite, features a two-CCD design with two standard ICX204AL 1/3-in., monochrome, progressive-scan sensors mounted to a custom-designed optical prism. The prism-based design enables the camera to simultaneously capture two channels of 30-frame/s video, with each channel having 1024 x 768-pixel resolution, 8- or 10-bit pixel depth, and precise alignment to the same optical axis. The shutter speed and/or gain for each channel can be calibrated independently, so one channel captures details in the brighter areas and the second captures the identical image, but with an emphasis on the details in the darker areas. The two images can then be analyzed separately or post-processed with an image fusion algorithm to produce a dynamic range nearly double the normal CCD response. This enables the camera to achieve dynamic range levels as high as 20 bits/pixel (~118 dB) without encountering the type of noise issues found in similar-performing CMOS HDR cameras.
JAI
Copenhagen, Denmark
www.jai.com

-- Posted by Carrie Meadows, Vision Systems Design, www.vision-systems.com

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PRESS RELEASE

JAI introduces unique high-dynamic-range camera
Dual-CCD design provides high dynamic range with CCD image quality

COPENHAGEN, Denmark - February 12, 2009 - JAI today announced the AD-081CL high dynamic range (HDR) camera, an innovative new addition to the Advanced tier of the company's C3 Camera Suite. The AD-081CL features a unique 2-CCD design with two standard ICX204AL 1/3" monochrome progressive scan sensors mounted to a custom-designed optical prism. The prism-based design enables the camera to simultaneously capture two channels of 30 fps video, with each channel having 1024 x 768 resolution, 8- or 10-bit pixel depth, and precise alignment to the same optical axis.

The shutter speed and/or gain for each channel of the AD-081CL can calibrated independently, such that one channel captures details in the brighter areas and the second captures the identical image, but with an emphasis on the details in the darker areas. The two images can then be analyzed separately or post-processed with an image fusion algorithm to produce a dynamic range nearly double the normal CCD response. This enables the AD-081CL to achieve dynamic range levels as high as 20-bits per pixel (~118 dB) without encountering the type of noise issues found in similar-performing CMOS HDR cameras.

JAI has developed a cost-efficient and extremely precise manufacturing process to align the two prism-mounted sensors to within one-quarter pixel accuracy. This enables the AD-081CL's high dynamic range capability to be applied to inspection tasks regardless of whether or not the objects are in motion - something that can't be done using two separate cameras or multiple exposures with a single CCD. It also enables the camera to be priced considerably less than a two-camera solution, particularly when optics, illumination, image acquisition, and other related items are considered.

Typical HDR applications for the AD-081CL include inspection tasks where incident light or bright reflections are present, such as LED inspection, welding, and various types of lighting or glass inspections. The camera is also ideal for a wide range of automotive applications, microscopy, or high-end surveillance uses. The parameters of each CCD can be adjusted by the user to provide maximum dynamic range or maximum contrast/sensitivity within a narrower lighting range, depending on the application.

In addition to HDR mode, the versatile AD-081CL can alternatively be configured to interleave the images from the two CCDs into a single output stream. This high-speed/low noise mode enables the camera to operate at an effective 60 fps without any increase in the clock frequency of the camera, thus keeping clock noise to an absolute minimum. Also included is a unique PIV mode, which leverages the camera's two-channel operation to capture three closely-spaced images on a single trigger instead of the two captured by conventional PIV trigger modes. This allows 50% more data to be collected to better analyze ultra-fast events such as vortex forming in artificial heart chambers, combustion analysis in engines, and air flow studies in wind chambers, to name a few.

The AD-081CL is equipped with two configurable Camera Link outputs providing users with a choice of single-cable operation or separate cables for each channel. Other features include partial scanning and vertical binning capabilities, as well as analog video output to support auto-iris lenses.

About the JAI Group:
JAI is a manufacturer of high quality, industrial-grade cameras for the machine vision, transportation, military, aerospace, homeland security, medical and scientific markets.

JAI provides the broadest camera offering of any industrial matrix camera manufacturer in the world. JAI's product line features both CCD and CMOS technologies, spatial resolutions from VGA to multi-mega pixel, progressive scan and interlaced format, and sensitivity to light levels as low as .00001 lux.

Camera offerings include both monochrome and color, triggered and continuous capture, and a wide variety of physical interfaces including Camera Link and the new GigE Vision Gigabit Ethernet standard.

Headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, JAI has subsidiaries in Japan, the US, the UK and Germany. The JAI Group has annual sales of more than USD 70m and employs 250 people worldwide.

JAI has two primary businesses: Camera Solutions and Traffic Solutions. Camera Solutions is a component supplier that designs, manufactures and markets CCD and CMOS camera solutions primarily for the ITS, medical and industrial machine vision markets. JAI cameras help improve customer businesses in a variety of ways, whether by improving quality and accuracy, lowering costs, increasing yields, or simply enabling better service.

The Traffic Solutions business unit is one of the world's leading manufacturers of specialized traffic systems. Solutions are based on JAI-developed hardware and software, which is often integrated with third-party products.

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