Z Microsystems' image-processing platform enhances video footage of Fukushima power plant in real time

Computing systems provider Z Microsystems has reported that Japanese TV broadcaster NHK is using the Z Microsystems Image Processor to improve the quality of live coverage of the earthquake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

May 12th, 2011

Computing systems provider Z Microsystems (San Diego, CA, USA) has reported that NHK, a well-known Japanese television station, is using the Z Microsystems Image Processor, a dedicated computer system that receives live video streams, to improve the quality of live coverage of the earthquake-damagedFukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The high-performance parallel processing platform runs complex image-enhancement algorithms that improve the clarity of live video feeds.

Due to high levels of radioactive contamination at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, newscasters are only allowed outside of the 30-km (18-mile) Fukushima zone. Even with high-definition video cameras andtelephoto lenses, the image quality of live video is blurry and lacks detail when broadcast over this great distance. The Z Microsystems Image Processor continuously clarifies images with contrast enhancement and edge detection, dynamically improving the quality of live video broadcasting.

The embedded video provides a sample of how video footage is enhanced from a distance via Image Processor. [Note: This is not coverage from the Fukushima nuclear plant. Video courtesy of Z Microsystems]



The computer system applies image-processing algorithms to remove distortion and improve image clarity, and then transmits the enhanced image stream to standard broadcasting equipment. The system incorporates field-programmable gate arrays (FPGA) to achieveparallel processing of computationally intensive algorithms without introducing latency into the processed video stream. Image enhancement algorithms continuously adjust contrast to sharpen images while edge detections algorithms identify anomalous shapes and highlight details.

"These image-processing algorithms do a remarkable job of bringing out the detail from images degraded by poor visibility and challenging environmental conditions," according to Jack Wade, chief executive officer of Z Microsystems. He says the technology can also be applied tounmanned aircraft systems (UAS), medical imaging, and other critical imaging tasks.

SOURCE:Z Microsystems

-- Posted byVision Systems Design

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