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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/H029621/1
Title: Custom cameras for science and industry
Principal Investigator: Pitter, Dr MC
Other Investigators:
Russell, Dr NA Somekh, Professor M
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Cairn Research Ltd University of Oxford
Department: Div of Electrical Systems and Optics
Organisation: University of Nottingham
Scheme: Follow on Fund
Starts: 01 April 2010 Ends: 31 July 2011 Value (£): 142,005
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Acoustics Lasers & Optics
Optical Devices & Subsystems
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
21 Oct 2009 Follow On Fund 7 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Over the last decade or so, the digital camera has revolutionised the way we use photography and video recording. In the early part of the last century, photography was the preserve of the wealthy and the technically adept, but today, electronic imaging array technology and cheap digital storage have dramatically simplified and reduced the cost to the point where the majority of consumers now have the budget and skills to participate.Conventional digital cameras are designed to take 'still' photographs where the image information is simply the colour and the brightness of the light at each pixel. Even video recordings are just a series of still pictures viewed in rapid succession to create the illusion of motion. To put this into engineering terms, normal digital cameras record a 'd.c.' image. However, in many sophisticated medical and industrial imaging techniques, the image is not 'still' - it fluctuates in brightness and colour. Here, it is the fluctuations (the a.c.) that contain the interesting part of the picture, rather than the d.c. and a conventional (d.c.) camera is of no use. At the moment these sophisticated types of imaging system must use just a single detector which is connected to extra circuitry that can measures the a.c. component. Of course one pixel is not a picture, so the object must be mechanically raster scanned and a two-dimension image is slowly built up by making many individual measurements and then arranging them into a picture. This results in a very slow, complicated and expensive instrument, much like photography was one or two generations ago.This is a serious problem in medicine and industry. Techniques that could discover new drugs, diagnose illness or improve manufacturing processes are confined to the laboratory as they are just too slow, expensive and complicated to use in the clinic or on the production line. However, EPSRC funded work we have carried out over several years has allowed us to design and build a range of cameras that can replace all the slow, bulky scanning equipment so that two-dimensional a.c. imaging can be performed in much the same way as d.c. imaging is now. In addition, now we have begun to publicise our work, a diverse range of new and important applications for our cameras are emerging and it is becoming obvious that the cameras could have a large impact on many imaging problems faced by scientific researchers, health workers and manufacturers.The work we propose in this project will allow us to show the market what our cameras can do. We wish to demonstrate that we can revolutionise many sophisticated imaging techniques in the same way that the digital camera has transformed photography. We will turn our laboratory prototypes into 'plug and play' camera systems that we can send to the many people who are requesting our cameras, and support them as they install and use them. In particular, we will work very closely with a UK company that specialises in manufacturing and retailing high performance camera technology, and a cardiac physiology research group from Oxford University that is extending the use of our cameras into areas that are new and important, both from a commercial and a scientific point of view. The result of this work will be increased market awareness of our products, and a much better understanding of the market place for us. This knowledge and publicity is vital so we can develop a market and an appropriate strategy for commercialising the cameras.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk