Letters to the Editor

I just read your editorial on engineering education (Vision Systems Design, April 2004, p. 76). When I graduated ...

Engineering education

I just read your editorial on engineering education (Vision Systems Design, April 2004, p. 76). When I graduated (1963) I had never done any kind of engineering project and was absolutely clueless about what engineers actually do. This resulted in some extremely painful experiences later in life. On the other hand, I had tons of theory, all of which has a shelf life of a couple of centuries. (Nature seems to like mathematics.) Thus, after a steep learning curve, I am still employed.

One big project could have made all the difference in the world. Too bad. Perhaps projects are too much work for professors.

Dudley M. Jones
Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems & Sensors

Standards needed

We are in the process of switching all of our medium-data-rate (<80 Mbytes/s) thermal infrared cameras from parallel RS-422 or LVDS output to Base Camera Link output. In addition, we're introducing high-data-rate cameras that output Full Camera Link data. Our on-chip digital focal-plane arrays (FPAs) output data at higher data rates than current analog output FPAs, so having a standards-based interface makes the design task lot easier.

I'd like to see standards for basic software function calls that all frame grabbers and cameras would support. This would greatly facilitate end users switching between cameras and frame grabbers.

The various frame-grabber companies should join together to define a basic set of functions (setup functions, start grab, wait for a particular frame, stop grab, and so forth), while the camera vendors should develop a basic set of functions (setup, start, set frame rate, set integration time or shutter speed, set window size, set sync in/out, and so forth). I'm sure it won't be easy to get individual companies to work together, but in the end the overall market will be larger for it.

Arn Adams
Santa Barbara Focalplane

Telecentric lenses

I had a chance to read your article about the telecentric lens (Vision Systems Design, January 2004, p. 37). This is a very good article with the kind of information that most of us are looking for. It was also very clear to me why and when we should use those lenses.

Yair Kipman
ImageXpert Inc.

We Want To Hear From You

Send your letters to Conard Holton, Editor in Chief, Vision Systems Design, 98 Spit Brook Rd., Nashua, NH 03062 USA; cholton@pennwell.com

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