Image-processing systems go commercial

In the past, image-processing systems were built with proprietary hardware and software. Currently, thanks to a variety of available low-cost, off-the shelf products, this scenario has been dramatically improved. In medical imaging, for example, the advent of teleradiology--the high-speed transmission of x-ray images to a central reading facility--saves the cost of remote diagnosis. Contributing editor Larry Brown reports on how networking several hospitals and clinics to one diagnostic center a

Image-processing systems go commercial

George Kotelly Executive Editor

georgek@pennwell.com

In the past, image-processing systems were built with proprietary hardware and software. Currently, thanks to a variety of available low-cost, off-the shelf products, this scenario has been dramatically improved. In medical imaging, for example, the advent of teleradiology--the high-speed transmission of x-ray images to a central reading facility--saves the cost of remote diagnosis. Contributing editor Larry Brown reports on how networking several hospitals and clinics to one diagnostic center allows health-care companies to provide 24-hour service (see p. 18).

Tying data acquisition and image processing together is the role of an industrial process-control system. Advances in digital technology and user interfaces have made these systems available to a broader range of industries. Contributing editor John Haystead examines the process-control systems that measure and gauge vegetables with subpixel accuracy (see p. 24).

By combining scientific image-processing systems with data-acquisition equipment, Nicolas Groleau (NASA Ames Research Center) evaluated the effects of zero gravity on human performance in space. As contributing editor Shari Worthington reports, data analyses are expected to provide information to better understand and prevent motion sickness, design the next-generation space-suit life-support systems, and assist in the selection and training of astronauts (see p. 30).

For military imaging applications, Lockheed Martin (Orlando, FL) is building and delivering portable, IR mine-detection systems. As John Haystead reports, these low-weight systems are being used by military personnel to detect and locate the thermal emissions of land mines buried in various terrains (see p. 36).

Perhaps the most common image-processing hardware is the frame grabber. These boards come in many combinations of resolution, acquisition speed, input-data format, on-board-processing, and storage capabilities. In his Product Focus, contributing editor Rick Nelson describes currently available frame grabbers and their major capabilities (see p. 42).

This column debuts my association with Vision Systems Design. My role as executive editor is part of the planned expansion of the editorial staff. With this issue, Andy Wilson becomes editor at large, which will enable him to concentrate on structuring a long-term editorial improvement and expansion program.

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