Vision systems surmount diverse obstacles

hen it comes to the size, location, and environment of an entity that must be visually detected, analyzed, and displayed, developers and integrators of imaging systems are continuously resolving a range of difficult design challenges. They are structuring general or custom machine-vision platforms whether confronted by large or small objects, land or sea conditions, or confined locations.

Vision systems surmount diverse obstacles

George Kotelly Executive Editor

georgek@pennwell.com

hen it comes to the size, location, and environment of an entity that must be visually detected, analyzed, and displayed, developers and integrators of imaging systems are continuously resolving a range of difficult design challenges. They are structuring general or custom machine-vision platforms whether confronted by large or small objects, land or sea conditions, or confined locations.

In a controlled hospital setting, existing computer-aided tomography (CAT) scanners were large, heavy, power-draining pieces of medical test equipment that generated detailed, but expensive, images of human internal organs. Overcoming all these detriments is a new compact, lightweight CAT scanner that can be easily moved and operated by just one person. As described by David Wilson, this inexpensive scanner can be connected to standard wall-power outlets worldwide and can withstand a range of temperature and humidity conditions (see p. 30).

Despite their small size, human-eye irises are being imaged and used for access-control identification. According to contributing editor Larry Curran, iris-recognition systems are gaining acceptance in varied security and surveillance applications. Based on database storage, iris-imaging systems can positively identify a person in just a few seconds (see p. 36).

In the study of tiny protein molecular structures using polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, image-processing software and hardware are needed to resolve the highly complex analysis of their one- and two-dimensional patterns. The use of off-the-shelf software packages, says editor-at-large Andy Wilson, is helping to automate difficult molecular-analysis techniques (see p. 50).

Built to sail the high seas under combat conditions, a French Navy aircraft carrier is mixing radar, television, and infrared images with military map and data information in multifunction console displays. These versatile display consoles, says contributing editor John Haystead, are being used to remotely operate weapon, sensor, and communication equipment (see p. 42).

Lighting-source developers have been designing a range of alternate illumination sources to increase lamp efficiency, brightness, and lifetime at lower cost. Whereas each lighting source has merits in terms of power, efficiency, quality, life, and stability, still other factors must be considered when selecting the proper imaging lighting system, explains Andy Wilson (see p. 56).

More in Life Sciences