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JAI has launched a 2-CCD camera with a GigE Vision interface and a variety of advanced operating modes.

The AD-081GE, featuring a high dynamic range (HDR), is a follow-up to the Camera Link model (AD-081CL), which was launched last year.

Like the AD-081CL, the new camera features a 2-CCD design with two standard ICX204AL 1/3in monochrome progressive scan sensors mounted to a custom-designed optical prism.

The prism-based design enables the camera to simultaneously capture two channels of 30fps video, with each channel having 1,024 x 768 resolution, eight- or 10-bit pixel depth and precise alignment to the same optical axis.

The shutter speed and/or gain for each channel of the AD-081CL can be calibrated independently, such that one CCD captures details in the brighter areas of a scene and the second CCD captures the identical image, but with an emphasis on the details in the darker areas.

The two images can then be analysed separately or processed with an image fusion algorithm to produce a dynamic range of nearly double the normal charge-coupled-device (CCD) response.

This enables the AD-081GE to achieve dynamic range levels as high as 20 bits per pixel (~120dB) in a linear fashion that avoids the noise, shutter and compression issues found in some CMOS-based logarithmic or Linlog HDR cameras.

JAI claims that it has also developed a cost-efficient and precise manufacturing process to align the two prism-mounted sensors to within one-quarter pixel accuracy.

This enables the AD-081GE’s HDR capability to be applied to inspection tasks regardless of whether or not the objects are in motion – something that cannot be done using two separate cameras or multiple exposures with a single CCD.

Typical HDR applications for the AD-081GE include inspection tasks where incident light or bright reflections are present, such as light-emitting-diode (LED) inspection, welding and various types of lighting or glass inspections.

The camera is also suitable for a range of automotive applications, microscopy or high-end surveillance uses.

The parameters of each CCD can be adjusted by the user to provide maximum dynamic range or maximum contrast/sensitivity within a narrower lighting range, depending on the application.

The standard GigE Vision/Genicam technology in the AD-081GE has enabled JAI to add several capabilities not offered with the original Camera Link model.

For example, the camera includes built-in image fusion routines that can automatically produce HDR output without any external processing required.

Alternatively, the company has added a variety of specialised HDR functions and a sample application to its GigE Vision SDK and Control Tool software to enable users to offload HDR processing to a host computer and build customised applications to fit their requirements.

Another new feature is the high signal-to-noise (S/N) mode included in the AD-081GE.

In this mode, the camera automatically averages the video information from the two CCDs to produce a single image with a lower noise component than a typical single-CCD image.

Other modes include the ability to interleave the images from the two CCDs into a single output stream.

This high-speed mode enables the camera to operate at 60fps without any increase in the clock frequency of the camera, thus keeping clock noise to a minimum.

Also included is an advanced PIV mode, which leverages the camera’s two-channel operation to capture three closely spaced images on a single trigger instead of the two captured by conventional PIV trigger modes.

This enables 50 per cent more data to be collected to better analyse ultra-fast events such as vortex forming in artificial heart chambers, combustion analysis in engines and airflow studies in wind chambers.

The AD-081GE is equipped with two configurable RJ-45 outputs, providing users with a choice of single- or dual-cable operation depending on the mode used.

Other features include partial scanning and vertical binning capabilities, as well as analogue video output to support auto-iris lenses.

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