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Engineers build 50 gigapixel camera (Yes, you read that right)
Phys.Org ^ | 06-20-2012 | Provided by Duke University

Posted on 06/20/2012 2:50:29 PM PDT by Red Badger

By synchronizing 98 tiny cameras in a single device, electrical engineers from Duke University and the University of Arizona have developed a prototype camera that can create images with unprecedented detail.

The camera's resolution is five times better than 20/20 human vision over a 120 degree horizontal field.

The new camera has the potential to capture up to 50 gigapixels of data, which is 50,000 megapixels. By comparison, most consumer cameras are capable of taking photographs with sizes ranging from 8 to 40 megapixels. Pixels are individual "dots" of data – the higher the number of pixels, the better resolution of the image.

The researchers believe that within five years, as the electronic components of the cameras become miniaturized and more efficient, the next generation of gigapixel cameras should be available to the general public.

Details of the new camera were published online in the journal Nature. The team's research was supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

The camera was developed by a team led by David Brady, Michael J. Fitzpatrick Professor of Electric Engineering at Duke's Pratt School of Engineering, along with scientists from the University of Arizona, the University of California – San Diego, and Distant Focus Corp.

"Each one of the microcameras captures information from a specific area of the field of view," Brady said. "A computer processor essentially stitches all this information into a single highly detailed image. In many instances, the camera can capture images of things that photographers cannot see themselves but can then detect when the image is viewed later."

"The development of high-performance and low-cost microcamera optics and components has been the main challenge in our efforts to develop gigapixel cameras," Brady said. "While novel multiscale lens designs are essential, the primary barrier to ubiquitous high-pixel imaging turns out to be lower power and more compact integrated circuits, not the optics."

The software that combines the input from the microcameras was developed by an Arizona team led by Michael Gehm, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Arizona.

"Traditionally, one way of making better optics has been to add more glass elements, which increases complexity," Gehm said. "This isn't a problem just for imaging experts. Supercomputers face the same problem, with their ever more complicated processors, but at some point the complexity just saturates, and becomes cost-prohibitive."

"Our current approach, instead of making increasingly complex optics, is to come up with a massively parallel array of electronic elements," Gehm said. "A shared objective lens gathers light and routes it to the microcameras that surround it, just like a network computer hands out pieces to the individual work stations. Each gets a different view and works on their little piece of the problem. We arrange for some overlap, so we don't miss anything."

The prototype camera itself is two-and-half feet square and 20 inches deep. Interestingly, only about three percent of the camera is made of the optical elements, while the rest is made of the electronics and processors needed to assemble all the information gathered. Obviously, the researchers said, this is the area where additional work to miniaturize the electronics and increase their processing ability will make the camera more practical for everyday photographers.

"The camera is so large now because of the electronic control boards and the need to add components to keep it from overheating," Brady said, "As more efficient and compact electronics are developed, the age of hand-held gigapixel photography should follow."


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Technical; US: North Carolina
KEYWORDS: camera; imaging; intel; photography; spying
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This is a gigapixel camera. Credit: Duke University Imaging and Spectroscopy Program

This is a sample gigapixel image. Credit: Duke University Imaging and Spectroscopy Program

This is David Brady. Credit: Duke University Photography

IZZIT just me or does this guy look like he needs a Mini-Me to follow him around?..............

1 posted on 06/20/2012 2:50:35 PM PDT by Red Badger
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To: ShadowAce

Ping!..........


2 posted on 06/20/2012 2:51:52 PM PDT by Red Badger (Think logically. Act normally.................)
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To: Red Badger

I’ll bet these are already aboard satellites. And these guys think they are the first, LOL!


3 posted on 06/20/2012 2:54:22 PM PDT by GeorgeWashingtonsGhost
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To: Red Badger

Creepy lookin’ dude.
And THIS is his likely photoshopped PR pic.
Imagine in real life .....


4 posted on 06/20/2012 2:55:13 PM PDT by nascarnation
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To: Red Badger

The better to spy on us.


5 posted on 06/20/2012 2:56:06 PM PDT by Bratch
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To: Red Badger

Wonder what size SD card I’d need for this?
Maybe I can pick one up at a discount at newegg...

Lol


6 posted on 06/20/2012 2:56:16 PM PDT by Bobalu (It is not obama we are fighting, it is the media.)
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To: Red Badger
The better to surveil you with...


7 posted on 06/20/2012 2:56:45 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Red Badger
Well...there is nothing new under the sun.

Ultra compact multi-megapixel, multi-lens, imaging system.

8 posted on 06/20/2012 2:59:07 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: Red Badger

Just don’t take any pictures of me with this camera. It will break. :)


9 posted on 06/20/2012 2:59:28 PM PDT by ken in texas (I was taught to respect my elders but it keeps getting harder to find any.)
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To: Red Badger

Yeah, but you don’t need 50 megapixel camera to see what horrible POTUS Mr. Obama is.


10 posted on 06/20/2012 3:00:23 PM PDT by Made In The USA (Can we cut the BS and just say it like it is?)
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To: Joe 6-pack

We’re donna need a bigger (boat) bandwidth.


11 posted on 06/20/2012 3:00:44 PM PDT by showme_the_Glory (ILLEGAL: prohibited by law. ALIEN: Owing political allegiance to another country or government)
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To: Red Badger

GIGApixel?

Wow. I’m still using an old (but works great) ‘03 Kodak DX3900 3.1 MEGApixel Easy-Share camera:

http://store.kodak.com/store/ekconsus/en_US/pd/DX3900_Zoom_Digital_Camera/productID.168645600

I’m so far behind the times. Carp.


12 posted on 06/20/2012 3:04:20 PM PDT by carriage_hill (All libs & most dems think that life is just a sponge bath, with a happy ending.)
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To: Red Badger

Yeah, but they’re gonna need 98 USB cables to download it to their hard drive. I cant keep up with one.


13 posted on 06/20/2012 3:10:08 PM PDT by freedomlover (Make sure you're in love - before you move in the heavy stuff)
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To: Red Badger

14 posted on 06/20/2012 3:13:20 PM PDT by freedomlover (Make sure you're in love - before you move in the heavy stuff)
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To: Red Badger

Miniaturize them and put them into a pair of glasses a soldier wears and then send the images to a mainframe to analyze potential threats in the field of view. Heck, create a database of everyone it sees, their location and proximity to one another and then analyze the data to locate possible threats and blackmail subjects. Put them in drones that hover on the weekend over gun ranges and follow subjects back to their homes. The possibilities are limitless.


15 posted on 06/20/2012 3:13:20 PM PDT by Sawdring
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To: Red Badger

Ax murderer!

No doubt about it!


16 posted on 06/20/2012 3:18:04 PM PDT by MindBender26 (America can survive 4 years of Romney. She cannot survive another 4 years of an unfettered Obama!)
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To: nascarnation
Creepy lookin’ dude.

Would you care to post your picture so I can see what not-creepy looks like?

17 posted on 06/20/2012 3:25:55 PM PDT by Misterioso (It is futile to fight against, if one does not know what one is fighting for. - Ayn Rand)
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To: Red Badger

No wonder they call them “eggheads”!


18 posted on 06/20/2012 3:39:45 PM PDT by caver (Obama: Home of the Whopper)
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To: Red Badger
David Brady looks remarkably like a younger version of...


19 posted on 06/20/2012 3:43:38 PM PDT by Charles Martel (Endeavor to persevere...)
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To: Red Badger
IZZIT just me or does this guy look like he needs a Mini-Me to follow him around?..............

I don't know. How tall is he?

20 posted on 06/20/2012 3:44:42 PM PDT by SoldierDad (Proud dad of an Army Soldier who has survived 24 months of Combat deployment.)
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