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When getting the most amount of detail from a moving target is critical, system developers are constantly looking for ways to increase framerates without compromising on image quality, ideally at minimal or no extra cost.

Introducing the Lossless Compression Feature

  • Delivers up to 70% higher maximum frame rates. Thanks to the reduce image size, the overall throughput of the camera is reduced, allowing an increased maximum framerate for GigE cameras that go beyond the standard GigE Interface bandwidth limitation of ~120MB/s
  • Increases the number of cameras on a single bus. With lower overall data transmission over the link, users can fit more cameras on a single bus, without reducing the image quality or framerate of the other camera(s) on the same bus/connection, eliminating the need for an additional host adapter, reducing cost.
  • Minimizes disk space usage; it’s now possible to save images in the compressed format, reducing the disk usage on the host system, and decreasing the amount of time necessary to write images to disk.
  • Maintains 100% image data; no packet loss
  • Is free! No additional cost

How it works

Lossless Compression is a feature available on select Teledyne FLIR GigE machine vision cameras that use our proprietary algorithms to compress image data. The compression occurs on camera before transmitting data to the host; thereby enabling our cameras to transmit data at higher maximum frame rates, utilizing lower bandwidth for data transmission while maintaining 100% image data. Once the data is transmitted to the host, it can be uncompressed or saved in its smaller, compressed form for lower disc space utilization.

When to use Lossless Compression

Lossless Compression is a feature available on select Teledyne FLIR GigE machine vision cameras that use our proprietary algorithms to compress image data. The compression occurs on camera before transmitting data to the host; thereby enabling our cameras to transmit data at higher maximum frame rates, utilizing lower bandwidth for data transmission while maintaining 100% image data. Once the data is transmitted to the host, it can be uncompressed or saved in its smaller, compressed form for lower disc space utilization

Example Use Case wtih Multiple GigE Cameras

To demonstrate the value of Lossless Compression, lets take an example use case of a conveyor-based system requiring three 5MP cameras placed along the line at different points. Two of those cameras need to run at 20FPS and a third one at 30FPS for the system to deliver accurate output. Furthermore, the industrial environment and required cable length necessitate the use of gigabit ethernet in this case.

Figure 1: Three standard BFS-PGE-50S5C cameras connected to a host PC.

Such a system would typically be setup as illustrated in Figure 1 above. The host PC would be connected to three Gigabit NIC’s (Network Interface Cards), one for each BFS-PGE-50S5 camera. Due to bandwidth limitations of Gigabit interface, the cameras won’t be able to share network interface cards (i.e. each camera’s data transmission requirement would be close to the bandwidth limit of one NIC). The third camera, due to its higher framerate requirement, would have to compromise on resolution too, just to stay within available bandwidths on a 1GigE NIC. Besides being a more expensive setup with 3 GigE NICs, the vision system designer is still having to compromise on image detail on the third camera – a less than ideal outcome for this application.

Figure 2: With Lossless Compression; the “greyed out” GigE NIC is no longer required.

With Lossless Compression enabled (assuming a compression ratio of 1 to 1.8), the same system can now run the first two cameras on a single interface card, eliminating an entire NIC from the previous setup – saving space, reducing a failure point, and lowering design costs. The third camera would also be able to achieve the required 30 FPS at full 5 MP resolution, while taking up lower bandwidth than the previous setup, saving CPU resources.

To summarize; enabling Lossless Compression helps to increase the maximum framerate of the camera (up to sensor speed), without reducing the resolution of the camera. Additionally, it also enables lower data over the link, translating to fewer peripherals and reduced CPU usage. These unique features reduce system costs, enable higher framerates, lower failure points and maintain 100% image data – without incurring any additional costs.

Supported Camera Models

The Lossless Compression feature is available on our most popular Blackfly S GigE models

This feature will also be made available on all upcoming Teledyne FLIR GigE cameras featuring Sony’s Pregius S sensors, on both Blackfly S GigE and Oryx camera families.

FLIR Systems specialises in technologies that enhance perception and awareness.  The company brings innovative sensing solutions into daily life through its thermal imaging and visible light imaging technology and systems for measurement, diagnosis, location and advanced threat detection.  Its products improve the way people interact with the world around them, enhance productivity, increase energy efficiency and make the workplace safer.

FLIR Systems has six operating segments – surveillance, instruments, OEM and emerging markets, maritime, security and finally, detection. Of these six, ‘instruments’ is of greatest interest to trade and industry and the second largest segment in the company’s portfolio. This division provides devices that image, measure and assess thermal energy, gases and other environmental elements for industrial, commercial and scientific applications.

These products are manufactured across five production sites, three in the USA and two in Europe; Sweden and Estonia.

A model to suit every application and budget
The options that FLIR Systems provides for measuring temperature and studying thermal performance have never been greater.  Not only does the company offer a huge range of models to suit all thermal application needs but the technology is also affordable and very easy to use.  Thermal cameras now come in various shapes, sizes and degrees of sophistication and FLIR continues to invest heavily in the development of new and complementary technologies to differentiate itself from competitors.

An important milestone in the development of thermal imaging has been the introduction of the FLIR Lepton® core, a micro longwave detector, the size of a mobile SIM.  This has allowed thermal imaging to be repackaged to meet the needs of an even wider audience and, in combination with another new technology called Infrared Guided Measurement – IGM™ – has led to the development of a range of test and measurement meters with imaging capability.

Another important growth area for FLIR thermal imaging is in continuous monitoring to assure quality and safety.  Through its introduction of discrete fixed mounted thermal cameras which are fully compliant industry standard plug-and-play protocols, FLIR Systems has provided industry with infrared machine vision which is instantly ready for quick and easy network installation.

Protecting assets and people from fire is an area for which thermal imaging is least known but, thanks to FLIR Systems’ development, it is now one of the most cost-effective methods available.  Its application flexibility and rapid return on investment present an attractive proposition for any site or safety manager.

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