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Proceedings Paper

Ultra: a new approach to ultrahigh-speed framing cameras
Author(s): Graham W. Smith; Mark J. Riches; Roger Brian Huxford; Philip A. Smith; Calvin L. G. Seymour; John D. Bell
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Paper Abstract

Conventional ultra-high speed electronic framing cameras have typically employed either a multiplicity of image intensifiers and CCD cameras aligned on a common optical axis (example -- the Hadland 468). Alternatively, a single photo-cathode and a means of deflecting the resultant 'electron image' to differing areas on a phosphor screen which can then be recorded by a conventional CCD camera (example -- the Ultranac), shuttering being performed by the intensifier. These conventional techniques are powerful but inevitably lead to highly complex camera systems. The techniques described, center upon a new image intensifier construction. The photo- cathode of an otherwise standard generation 2 image intensifier, is fabricated in such a manner that separate portions or areas of the photo-cathode may be gated independently of others, creating in effect a multiplicity of separate 'intensifier' channels. Coupling this technique to a recently developed novel beam splitter plus a single large format CCD camera (covering all 'channels' simultaneously), has resulted in an extremely compact, rugged and flexible ultra high speed camera system. A further advantage of the technique is the simplicity by which advances in solid state camera technology may be exploited. These new techniques offer a new range of camera systems, allowing frame rates of up to 100,000,000 frames per second (fps) or more, of 4 to 136 independent frames with resolutions of up to 1000 X 1000 pixels per image with other user defined spectral filtering and or color options. Characterization of the true optical gating properties of the camera 'intensifier channels' operating in the nanosecond region is also quantified. Finally, example images and sequences are presented plus an overview of some of the new applications that these camera systems make feasible.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 April 2001
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 4183, 24th International Congress on High-Speed Photography and Photonics, (17 April 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.424267
Show Author Affiliations
Graham W. Smith, Atomic Weapons Establishment plc (United Kingdom)
Mark J. Riches, DRS Technologies Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Roger Brian Huxford, RBH Optics (United Kingdom)
Philip A. Smith, Atomic Weapons Establishment plc (United Kingdom)
Calvin L. G. Seymour, Atomic Weapons Establishment plc (United Kingdom)
John D. Bell, Atomic Weapons Establishment plc (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4183:
24th International Congress on High-Speed Photography and Photonics
Kazuyoshi Takayama; Tsutomo Saito; Harald Kleine; Eugene V. Timofeev, Editor(s)

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