Military Embedded Systems

Hi-def CMOS imaging sensor released by BAE Systems


January 30, 2012

John McHale

Editorial Director

Military Embedded Systems

MILPITAS, Calif. Engineers at BAE Systems Imaging Solutions have designed a high-definition scientific complementary metal oxide semiconductor (sCMOS) image sensor, dubbed the Fairchild Imaging CIS1021. The new component will enable image collection through microscopes or other imaging systems.

The sensor chip will be able to aid scientists looking at single molecules in the laboratory to stars in deep space by providing high sensitivity, dynamic range, and speed all at high-def television -- HDTV) -- resolution.

The new device combines the capabilities into a single sensor and enables scientists to be able to capture all the data in a scene, from the faintest to the brightest target in an image.

BAE Systems engineers see the CIS1021 being used in life science applications such as live cell microscopy, drug discovery, and real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), as well as aerospace, defense astronomy, border security, surveillance, and medical imaging.

The CIS1021 is able to capture images at speeds as fast as 100 frames per second at full resolution, five times faster than typical scientific imagers of 20 frames per second, company officials say. This enables users to collect more image information in shorter periods of time and enables them to track events that standard sensors cannot see.

In the field of astronomy, sCMOS technology and the CIS1021 sensor can be used in the scientific application known as “lucky imaging,” say BAE Systems engineers. For example, the higher resolution can reduce the atmospheric turbulence blurring effects when taking images of planets and stars through the earth’s atmosphere.

Other features include more than 88dB of intra-scene dynamic range, captures images in an industry-standard 1920 x 1080 HDTV format, and is available in either a monochrome or color version.


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