High-speed imaging has emerged as an essential means integral to a variety of application which is inclusive of but not limited to Automotive (airbag deployment, car crash testing); high-speed impact and material testing; machine vision technology for packing and sorting, ballistics and (nuclear) detonation and explosion; sports science. Further, high-speed imaging has been used in applications pertaining to fluid dynamics that include combustion, fluid dynamics propulsion and cavitation, shock waves, sprays and jets, turbines, and supersonic flows.
Moreover, the evolving applications in biomechanics, biomedicine, and microfluidics necessitate imaging systems that are capable of achieving high frame rates at a high spatial resolution at a high number of frames to resolve detail that is microscopic and at time resolution that is down to the level of microseconds. Thus, to facilitate high-speed imaging arises the demand for high-speed cameras with appropriate configurations. An industry that is expected to drive the demand for high-speed cameras among others is that of defense which according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) witnessed a 3.6% increase in total military expenditure in 2019 from that of 2018.
Direct Budget Plan of Research, Dev, Test & Eval
Source: Department of Defense, USA
In millions of US$
It accounted for $1917 billion in 2019 and represented 2.2 % of global gross domestic product (GDP), which equates to $249 per person approximately. At the forefront of military spending is the United States that accounted for 38 % of global military spending. When it comes to the territory of the military there have been breakthroughs as a consequence of certain path-breaking science and technology-related developments. The DOD also maintains that its budget allocation stems from the need to uphold its modernization priorities that have been delineated on the National Defense Strategy, issued in 2018. DOD officials also have noted the growing technological sophistication of China and Russia in certain prime areas that makes it’s a geopolitical strategic imperative for the USA to reconsider investments in R&D. Therefore, the segment pertaining to Military and Defense is expected to hold a significant share of the High-speed camera market due to research-oriented applications that are covered by a myriad of military testing. For example, the launch of a product called Phantom® VEO 1310, which was announced in February 2020 by Vision Research Inc., is reportedly enabled with 2.5X higher light sensitivity, capable of faster recording speeds, and features a new 1.2-megapixel CMOS sensor. It also comes equipped with the proprietary 2-bit CMOS sensor that is capable of achieving recording speeds over 10800 fps at full, 1.2-megapixel resolution and higher rates at reduced resolutions
Another product that was launched in August 2018, the FASTCAM NOVA, which is a versatile, high-performance high-speed camera system, that offers 12-bit image recording rates up to 12,800 frames per second (fps), which is made available at megapixel image resolution with shutter speeds that is less than 300 nanoseconds. At reduced image resolutions recording rates up to 1,000,000fps are made available. With the best quality of light sensitivity in its category, the camera is reportedly compact, rugged, lightweight among others. The other features that are standard to NOVA are internal mechanical shutter that allows remote systems calibration along with to facilitate high-speed image download and camera control. It also features memory segmentation that allows recording into one memory partition while downloading from another. It is also compatible with several industry-standard lens formats. This product is made commercially available by Photron which is globally known to manufacture a range of high-speed digital camera system that offers reliability and performance in the most challenging and research and testing application. Another product innovation that has reportedly been acknowledged due to its applicability in Ballistics, other than this of fluid dynamics, material testing, and research and testing, is that of the 60Gpixel/sec camera, Memrecam ACS-1 M60 by nac Image Technology, as announced in May 2020. It builds on the success of 40Gpixel/sec camera which was the world’s first and was introduced in late 2018. It reportedly provides one-megapixel images at an incredible 60,000 fps in high-quality mode. It is also capable of providing 100,000fps in NAC’s proprietary boost mode. It is light sensitivity is in accordance with industry-leading ISO 100,000 (Mono).
With regards to laboratory application, San Diego based Fastec Imaging is a global name and known for providing high-speed camera systems that are uniquely portable and affordable and has a range of point-and-shoot systems, long-duration record systems, handheld, and compact PC-controlled cameras. The range of portfolio of application ion a wide range of applications that includes packaging, medical, industrial manufacturing, engineering, and academic research. The organization has reportedly launched an HS7 system that combines a high-speed camera with a dedicated controller. In this manner, the setup has been simplified that streamlines integration and optimizes workflow. It is reportedly capable of recording FHD (1080p) at 2500 frames per second, is the first product of tr family of new HS Series cameras that are expected to be released. cameras with resolutions ranging from HD (720p) to UHD (2160p) and imaging rates exceeding 5 gigapixels/second are encompassed in the HS series. This product is reportedly suitable for technical applications the study of animal motion for neurological or robotics research, machine design and troubleshooting, Digital Image Correlation (DIC) for materials research, component testing as well as for analysis of droplets in microfluidic devices.
Another concern of safety is that of The Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) which stems from every need to ensure public safety and growing traffic congestions, development of smart cities and the all-encompassing inclusion of the internet if Things that are driving the demand for high-speed cameras. For example, as of July 2020, the Chinese ancient-walled city of Xi’an has reportedly deployed an intelligent traffic management system to help improve traffic flow and reduce journey times. The systems are poised to monitor queue length, traffic flow, as well as average driving speed from and to all directions of intersections in real-time thereby automatically adjusting signal timing to optimize vehicle flow.