Richard, I'm running a little behind due to work load but it's probably just as well. I'm writing this comment on 19 April, right after the terrorist attack on Boston during the marathon. THE technology that allowed authorities to catch these thugs was aptly demonstrated during that event. There is no way justice could be served unless surveillance cameras had been employed. This will be a technology increasing in importance as time goes by. During my Air Force years, we used "high-speed" cameras for several reasons but certainly not 1 trillion frames per second. This technology is phenomenal. Great post.
The fastest camera that I have seen was used for evaluating military bullets penetrating armor of various types. The speed was given as "Really fast", since the actual details are sort of proprietary. So there is an existing application already. The other obvious application is in automotive crash testing for crash safety systems development. And probably the system would be quite useful in learning about what really happens in some of the high speed stamping presses. The fastb stamping process is not as simple as it would seem, at least, not in every application.
Last year we reported on a camera invented by Raskar and his colleagues that uses a femto-second laser, to peer around corners: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=241180 Amazing stuff!
As a Photo Instrumentation/High-Speed Photography major, I spent a summer with Doc Edgerton in his lab at MIT 48 years ago. It was amazing what we were doing at that time, but unbelievable what's being done now.
Rich, one thing you can do is to use the vision system to control high speed processes. Very fast cameras let this happen. Coupled with a smart processing engine at the camera you get a very smart vision system.
I don't know what anyone would do with one trillion frames/sec, but I now know there's a computer to process it. The University of Illinois this week started its Blue Waters supercomputer, which does one quadillion floating point operations per second (a petaflop).
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