Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Digital streak camera captures full-color photographs of high-speed objects

Date:
August 14, 2013
Source:
SPIE Digital Library
Summary:
Researchers have developed a new design for a digital streak camera that captures full-color images of projectiles traveling up to 10 times the speed of sound. This system was designed to replace the outdated film-based streak cameras that are still in use at high-speed test tracks.

Background-subtracted streak image of 00 buckshot, 354 m/s.
Credit: Image courtesy MetroLaser

Researchers at MetroLaser, Inc., have developed a new design for a digital streak camera that captures full-color images of projectiles traveling up to 3350 m/s, which is 10 times the speed of sound. This system was designed to replace the outdated film-based streak cameras that are still in use at high-speed test tracks.

Related Articles


Film-based streak photography records the motion of an object as it passes in front of a camera lens, while the film moves behind a vertical slit aperture during the exposure. The result is a long, continuous composite image of the object.

However, the transition from film to digital has changed the photography industry, and the specialized film required for streak photography is no longer being manufactured. The U.S. Air Force asked Benjamin Buckner and Drew L'Esperance under a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract to design a system that could produce high-quality magazine-type images, as no existing digital technology exists that can capture images at the high speeds they require.

The new digital technology for this camera relies on a precisely controlled mirror to follow the object and freeze the image on the camera.

Buckner is the lead author of a paper describing the camera design in Optical Engineering. He explains that the galvo mirror tracks the object as it moves past the camera and directs the right portion of the object's image onto the right portion of the image sensor in order to form a complete, undistorted image.

Since the mirror is synchronized to a ballistic object, the biggest challenge is to accurately measure the object's speed, and calculate the swing of the mirror to match that speed precisely. "This has to be done in a few thousandths of a second," Buckner says.

The optical design also allows the wave of compressed air pushed along by the object (the schlieren effect) to be seen in the captured image. The camera is triggered by the motion of the object.

The digital streak camera was built to meet specifications established by operators of rocket sleds, which means that the camera is able to resolve an object 1.27 mm in size when the sled is traveling 3350 m/s, and must be able to operate outdoors in conditions of heat, cold, dust, and moisture.

The setup utilizes a commercial portrait quality digital camera and conventional photographic flash illumination. The software was designed to run efficiently on a compact, low-power computer, while maintaining a high level of mathematical accuracy.

"The real power of this approach is that you can take almost any kind of existing camera back and fit it into a rig like this to turn it into a high-speed streak camera," Buckner says.

Buckner and L'Esperance envision applications of digital streak imaging including ballistics, rocket sled imaging, and determining finishing order in high-speed races.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by SPIE Digital Library. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Benjamin D. Buckner, Drew L’Esperance. Digital synchroballistic schlieren camera for high-speed photography of bullets and rocket sleds. Optical Engineering, 2013; 52 (8): 083105 DOI: 10.1117/1.OE.52.8.083105

Cite This Page:

SPIE Digital Library. "Digital streak camera captures full-color photographs of high-speed objects." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130814101436.htm>.
SPIE Digital Library. (2013, August 14). Digital streak camera captures full-color photographs of high-speed objects. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130814101436.htm
SPIE Digital Library. "Digital streak camera captures full-color photographs of high-speed objects." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130814101436.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Building Google Into Cars

Building Google Into Cars

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Google's next Android version could become the standard that'll power your vehicle's entertainment and navigation features, Reuters has learned. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) What to buy an experienced photographer or video shooter? There is some strong gear on the market from Nikon and GoPro. The AP's Ron Harris takes a closer look. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Printed Cookies Just in Time for Christmas

3D Printed Cookies Just in Time for Christmas

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) A tech company in Spain have combined technology with cuisine to develop the 'Foodini', a 3D printer designed to print the perfect cookie for Santa. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins