Tag Archives: camera

NASA Is Building the World’s First 3D-Printed Satellite Camera

Cubesats

The 2-inch 3D printed camera will be mounted on CubeSats like these.
Image: NASA

NASA is already using 3D printing to make rocket engine parts, a space pizza maker and even physical photos from the Hubble Space Telescope. But by the end of September, one NASA engineer expects to complete the first space cameras made almost entirely out of 3D-printed stuff.

“As far as I know, we are the first to attempt to build an entire instrument with 3D printing,” Jason Budinoff, an aerospace engineer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, said in a statement.

Budinoff is building a 2-inch (50 millimeters) camera for a CubeSat — a miniature satellite. The camera will have to pass vibration and thermal-vacuum tests next year to prove that it’s capable of space travel. Budinoff is also using 3D printing to build a 14-inch (350 mm) dual-channel telescope.

Both instruments are being built to demonstrate how 3D printing (also called “additive manufacturing”) can be used as a boon for space exploration. The new technique could cut down both the time and cost of traditional manufacturing.

To build the 3D-printed instruments, first a computer-controlled laser melts down a pile of metal powder. It then fuses the melted metal into a specific configuration determined by a 3D computer design. The instruments are built and assembled layer by layer — like slices of bread from a loaf. The layered approach makes it possible to build in tiny internal features and grooves that are impossible to build using traditional manufacturing.

But the instruments are not deep-space ready — at least not yet, according to Budinoff.

“I basically want to show that additive-machined instruments can fly,”Budinoff said in the same statement. “We will have mitigated the risk, and when future program managers ask, ‘Can we use this technology?’ we can say, ‘Yes, we already have qualified it.'”

In the future, 3D printers could reduce the overall cost of building space exploring instruments. For example, Budinoff’s 3D printed camera only requires four separate pieces, whereas a conventional camera would require between five and 10 times the number of parts, according to Budinoff.

Budinoff is also working on a way to build 3D-printed metal mirrors. Mirrors are crucial parts of telescopes, and it may be possible to create them with powdered aluminum. Aluminum is notoriously porous, which makes it difficult to polish. If Budinoff’s theory is correct, then a process called “hot isostatic pressing” could convert the aluminum into a gleaming mirror.

The pressing technique involves taking a 3D printed aluminum mirror and placing it in a heated chamber under 15,000 pounds per square inch of pressure. The intense heat and pressure would lower the aluminum’s surface porosity and create a polished mirror.

This kind of mirror could be especially useful for infrared instruments that must operate at extremely cold temperatures. Infrared sensors are usually made out of several different materials. But if all the parts were made out of aluminum, it would be easier to control the instrument’s temperature.

Budinoff will likely finish both instruments this year, and they will undergo spaceflight testing in 2015.

This article originally published at Space.com
here

Read more: http://mashable.com/2014/08/12/3d-printed-cubesat-camera/

Dog Wearing GoPro Is Attacked By Wolves

Moose-hunting season in Sweden comes with the inevitable dangers that such forested regions hide. In a distressing video, a dog wearing a GoPro captures the moment two wolves attack her while on a hunt with her owner.

Svensk Jakt, a Swedish hunting magazine, reported that hadKlara the dog not been wearing a steel-lined vest, she likelywould have died from her injuries. Thankfully, the Swedish elkhound was quickly taken to a nearby vet, who treated a large wound on her back, stitched 14 smaller injuries, and cleaned 15-20 smaller wounds that were left to heal on their own. According to the dogs owner, Klara was back on her feet within three days, albeit still recovering from the attack.

Swedish elkhoundswho themselves have a large, wolf-like appearancewere bred for strength and endurance to aid hunting trips. The attack occurred outside Varmland County in Sweden.

Video Credit:Svensk Jakt

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/dog-wearing-gopro-captures-wolves-attacking-it

Drone Project Modeled From Incredible Images of Birds in Flight

Stanford University students are capturing incredible images of birds in mid-flight in order to study their movements, behavior, and ultimately create the ideal drone. The ultra-high-speed Phantom camera they use can shoot upwards of 3,300 frames per second at full resolution, and an amazing 650,000 at a tiny resolution, which enables the students to capture the incredibly intricate movements of a bird in flight.

Professor David Lentink, who oversees the project, says: “Our camera shoots 100 times faster than humans’ vision refresh rate. We can spread a single wing beat across 40 frames, and see incredible things.”

The purpose of studying the birds is to capture their biomechanical behavior mid-flight and apply the findings to enhance robot design. Professor Lentink explains many drones can be disrupted by a slight gust of wind, but a bird can use its wings to stay airborne. The incredibly detailed images of the birds in flight may provide the key to why robots can’t fly in the same manner.

birdy flying

With the help of the images caught on tape, the students and their supervisors are hoping to develop an ideal search-and-rescue robot, one that can adapt to an unpredictable environment and incorporate the best characteristics of each bird studied.

The Stanford researchers now want to give people the opportunity to film the birds themselves. Their project “Flight Artists” will give Bay Area birders access to Lentink’s camera.

“We’d like to pair the camera with some bird enthusiasts who might know the natural history of these birds better than us,” Lentink says. Applications to use the camera can be found on the project’s website. For more, check out the videos above and below.

All images and final video courtesy of Rivers Ingersoll

Read more: http://mashable.com/2013/07/03/drone-project-birds/

Skate Boarder Puts Camera Under His Board While Skating NYC

Remember the swordsmen who went viral when they attached a camera to the end of a sword? Well, more people are creating crazy effects with today’s new smaller and sturdier cameras. One skateboarder attached a GoPro camera underneath his board and skated around New York City. The board seems to stay still while the ground moves. It’s a crazy effect. The video is featured on LaughingSquid and Devour

 

Read more: http://www.viralviralvideos.com/2011/08/03/skate-boarder-puts-camera-under-his-board-while-skating-nyc/

Fox Tries To Eat GoPro Camera

Fox Tries To Eat GoPro Camera

YouTuber TheOpenLens went to Round Island, Alaska to record wildlife and spotted a fox. He now admits it was a stupid move, but to get a close shot he put his expensive GoPro camera on the ground near the fox. Little did he know, this fox had a taste for plastic, glass, and metal, and quickly started chomping on his expensive camera. Now, this GoPro video of the fox eating the camera has gone viral!

 

Read more: http://www.viralviralvideos.com/2014/07/27/fox-tries-to-eat-gopro-camera/

Bell Labs Invents Lensless Camera

Camerairis

The traditional method of imaging, which is at least 150 years old, relies on a lens to create an image and a device for recording photons such as an array of pixels, a light-sensitive film or even a retina.

But a dramatic revolution that is currently taking the world of imaging by storm means that this could soon change.

This revolution is based on a technique called compressive sensing, which is based on the idea that many common measurements have huge redundancy. That means it’s possible to acquire the same data with just a fraction of carefully chosen measurements.

The trick, of course, is knowing which measurements to take and how to reassemble them. Various teams have been excitedly experimenting with this idea. Back in January, for example, we looked at one group who have created 3D images using a single pixel in this way.

Today, this revolution gains pace because Gang Huang and his team from Bell Labs in New Jersey say they’ve used compressive sensing to build a camera that needs no lens and uses only a single sensing pixel to take photographs. What’s more, the images from this camera are never out of focus.

The new device is simple in nature. “The architecture consists of two components, an aperture assembly and a sensor. No lens is used,” says Huang. It consists of an LCD panel that acts as an array of apertures that each allow light to pass through and a single sensor capable of detecting light three colours.

Each aperture in the LCD array is individually addressable and so can be open to allow light to pass through or closed. An important aspect of this kind of imaging is that the array of open and closed apertures must be random.

The process of creating an image is straightforward. It begins with the sensor recording the light from the scene that has passed through a random array of apertures in the LCD panel. It then records the light from a different random array and then another and so on.

Although seemingly random, each of these snapshots is correlated because they record the same scene in a different way. And this is the key that the team use to reassemble an image. The process of compressive sensing analyses the data, looking for this correlation which it then uses to recreate the image.

Clearly, the more snapshots that are taken, the better the image will be. But it is possible to create a pretty good image using just a tiny fraction of the data that a conventional image would require.

For example, the Bell Labs team took this image of books using only a quarter of the data they could have recorded.

In fact, the less detail there is in the scene, the less data is required to reconstruct it.

This revolutionary lensless camera has a number of advantages over a conventional camera. First is the tiny amount of data required to create images. Without a lens, these images suffer none of the aberrations and focusing problems associated with lenses. The scene is entirely in focus and the resolution of the image depends on the size and number of the apertures and the point-like nature of the light sensor.

By using two sensors behind the same aperture array, it is possible to create two different images of the scene at the same time. Indeed, multiple sensors produce multiple images.

What’s more, the device is simple and cheap. Huang’s team built their prototype using cheap off-the-shelf components that anybody would have access to.

Best of all, the same approach works for other wavelength of light such as infrared and millimetre waves. So it ought to be possible to create relatively cheap cameras for these wavelengths, too.

The disadvantage, at least for the moment, is that it takes time to acquire the data for each image, so the camera only creates images of still scenes.

But even that is useful for surveillance since it is possible to compare consecutive images of the same scene to determine things that have changed or to work out the speed of moving objects.

That’s an impressive piece of work that is likely to have far-reaching consequences for the way we record the world around us. Expect to hear a lot more about compressive imaging — or ghost imaging as it is sometimes called — in the near future.

It’s also interesting to see Bell Labs hitting its straps again. This is an organisation with a venerable history but a tumultuous recent past. With advances like this, there is always the chance it can recapture some of its former glory.

Image via iStockphoto, lucascavalheiro

This article originally published at MIT Technology Review
here

Read more: http://mashable.com/2013/06/03/bell-labs-lensless-camera/