[Page 2] Q&A: Imaging in UAVs, evolving technologies, a push toward turnkey solutions

July 29, 2014
Eric Ramsden, Product Manager at Lumenera Corporation, discusses the evolution and advancement of imaging technologies and needs, the role and future of imaging in UAVs, and a push toward more turnkey vision solutions. 

The following is a discussion continued from page one with Eric Ramsden, Product Manager at Lumenera Corporation.

Is there a particular trend or product in the next few years that you see as "the next big thing?"

Since our cameras can be used for a vast number of applications, we capture data as much as we can but can’t speak for all market segments. There is strong potential for emerging applications such as unmanned vehicles (air, water, land based) and existing markets where technology updates can provide cost savings when deploying or replacing existing imaging solutions. We feel that there will be growth in untapped geographical regions as well so this points to plenty of opportunity for growth through new evolutions in applications and penetration into new regions of the globe.

How will imaging systems have to change to meet emerging applications?

I believe that beyond simply increasing the "specs" of solutions, there will need to be a way to simplify the integration of the components of a solution to head towards turnkey systems. There is quite a bit of expertise required in many domains to create a complete imaging system (camera, lenses, lighting, host computers, OSes, APIs, etc.). Adding more automated intelligence to the devices and reducing complexity will be important to reduce integration time and speed up deployments.

Do you have any new exciting products or developments on the horizon?

Lumenera is always investigating new products and application areas where our cameras can be used. We have had great success with our Sony-based image sensor products, and have worked very hard to achieve the best possible image quality and speed from these devices. To that extent, we are continuing development on higher resolution cameras based on Sony ICX sensors.

The Lt1265 will be the industry’s first ICX834 USB 3.0 camera that will stream live video at 12 MPixel resolutions. Full resolution images at 15 fps with high color fidelity, low-noise, and a 3.1 µm square pixel will be used in ITS, UAV, and machine vision applications around the world.

Is there anything vision-related that you’ve seen recently, in any particular market, that you thought was particularly cool?

At a recent UAV tradeshow, it was interesting to learn more about the many different applications for hyperspectral imaging. In one example, a company was creating UAV systems that can monitor the health of crops and spot the presence of diseases. Based on the data gathered with GPS coordinates, this permits the ground equipment to automatically dispense the appropriate fertilization mixture with precision.

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About the Author

James Carroll

Former VSD Editor James Carroll joined the team 2013.  Carroll covered machine vision and imaging from numerous angles, including application stories, industry news, market updates, and new products. In addition to writing and editing articles, Carroll managed the Innovators Awards program and webcasts.

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