A vision system provides a close-up of a heart pump valve, taking 100,000 frames per second to provide a close look at anomalies as it opens and closes. To help engineers figure out what causes these problems, the system is synchronized to data monitoring equipment that measures pressure flow and other parameters.
This system, developed by DRS Data & Imaging Systems, Inc. of Oakland, NJ, is also being used in automotive crash testing, making it possible to match data from accelerometers, pressure sensors and other sensors with images taken during the milliseconds of a collision that takes hours to set up. ďIf customers require synchronized data, the camera runs as a slave to the acquisition instrument. The board clocks the camera so it can synchronize video and data,Ē says Tim Callenbach, manager of high speed cameras at DRS, a company that works closely with military customers that want high end products. While DRS focuses on the high end, itís riding the same trends that impact the broader machine vision field, where falling prices and simplified setup are helping spark solid market growth. A number of vendors are helping promote the field in a Vision Pavilion at NIWeek.Other vendors in Austin include Flir Systems†of Wilsonville, OR. Flir makes infrared cameras, which are seeing increasing use in applications where normal cameras canít provide enough data. By sensing IR, the machine vision systems can determine whether a vehicleís rear window defogger or heated seat elements are all operating correctly. Cameras from Basler AG†are being used in a costly popcorn popper inspired by Rube Goldberg. NI counts out 300 kernels using its vision system, then heats them up and tips the popcorn out when itís finished. Basler is also demonstrating a 4 Mpixel camera for more demanding applications.Lens maker Navitar Inc. of Rochester, NY†is showing a number of lenses that provide specialized views for various tasks. ďSemiconductor manufacturing equipment vendors are our biggest customers,Ē says Joe Corsi, regional account manager.