Wednesday 11 November 2009

Imaging capabilities

New dual sensor camera offers unique imaging capabilities

Hits Financial Targets

STEMMER IMAGING UK has just completed its 2008/9 financial year, and is delighted to report that it has hit its sales targets, representing 10% growth compared to 2007/8.

UK Sales & Marketing Director, Mark Williamson, said: ”This is fantastic achievement, especially considering the widespread economic downturn in the UK during this period. Not only have we grown by 10%, but we have also invested in additional staff during this period, putting us in a good position to take advantage as the economy improves”.

“Key to our performance has been the level of service that we offer to our customers”, he continued. “We have maintained our £2 million stock levels throughout the recession, which means that we continue to offer next day delivery on a host of items, and we are still able to offer equipment on loan for evaluation. This commitment to customer service seems to be a significant differentiator for us in the market place."

“In addition, STEMMER IMAGING has no bank debt and we have cash reserves”,
he said in conclusion. “This further reinforces customer confidence in us, which is borne out by a recent survey of customers spending up to £5000 with us in the last 6 months, carried out by STEMMER IMAGING GmbH. This revealed that around 50% of orders came from direct referrals".
Stemmer Imaging's latest camera offering, the JAI AD-081CL, features two monochrome progressive scan CCD sensors mounted to a custom-designed optical prism. The prism-based design enables the camera to simultaneously capture two channels of 30 fps video of the same field of view to within one-quarter pixel accuracy. A choice of operating modes allows the camera to be used for high dynamic range, high speed operation or particle imaging velocimetry.

Particle Imaging Velocimetry (PIV) is a planar optical measurement technique which provides a means of measuring the velocity of seeded particles (~1 - 50 microns (in air)) in the flow of interest. Applications include vortex forming in artificial heart chambers, combustion analysis in engines, and air flow studies in wind chambers. With a single CCD camera, the laser illumination is pulsed and two sequential images are captured and analysed to track particle measurement. The dual sensor AD-081CL, however, features a unique PIV mode, which allows the camera’s two-channel operation to capture three closely-spaced images on a single trigger instead of two. This provide 50% more data for improved analysis of ultra-fast events.

Independent control of shutter speed and/or gain for each channel of the AD-081CL provides the opportunity for wide dynamic range operation. This is especially useful in inspection applications where there is a particularly bright light background, such as LED inspection or welding. One channel is adjusted for the bright output, while the other channel is tuned for lower light output. The two images can then be analysed separately or combined to produce a dynamic range nearly double the normal CCD response. This enables the camera to achieve dynamic range levels as high as 20-bits per pixel (~120 dB) in a linear fashion that avoids the noise, shutter, and compression issues found in other types of cameras.

The versatile AD-081CL can also operate at an effective frame rate of 60 fps. This is achieved by interleaving the images from the two sensors into a single output stream. This high-speed/low noise mode does not increase in the clock frequency of the camera itself, thus keeping clock noise to an absolute minimum.

Each sensor has 1024 x 768 pixel resolution and 8 or 10 bit pixel depth. The camera features two configurable Camera Link outputs, allowing single-cable operation or separate cables for each channel. Other features include partial scanning and vertical binning capabilities, as well as analog video output to support auto-iris lenses.

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