DARPA successfully tests gigapixel-class camera

Jul 06, 2012

This is an image of a gigapixel camera currently being developed by DARPA’s Advanced Wide FOV Architectures for Image Reconstruction and Exploitation (AWARE) program.

As part of the program, DARPA successfully tested cameras with 1.4 and 0.96 gigapixel resolution at the Naval Research Lab in Washington, DC.

The gigapixel cameras combine 100-150 small cameras with a spherical objective lens. Local aberration correction and focus in the small cameras enable extremely high resolution shots with smaller system volume and less distortion than traditional wide field lens systems.

The effort hopes to produce resolution up to 10 and 50 gigapixels—much higher than the human eye can see. Analogous to a parallel-processor supercomputer, the AWARE design uses parallel multi-scale micro cameras to form a wide field panoramic image.

The AWARE program is developing new approaches and advanced capabilities in imaging to support a variety of Department of Defense missions. For more information, please visit the program page.

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not rated yet Jul 06, 2012
Ahhh, that's cool. I want one. Can I have one?

Realistically, there's no reason that a scaled down version of this idea couldn't be introduced in consumer cameras. Composite focus and aperature would be something people would pay extra for I bet. And, if people are willing to pay for it, it will eventually be sold.
not rated yet Jul 07, 2012
Much more information is at Duke's project site: http://disp.duke....s/AWARE/

"Realistically, there's no reason that a scaled down version of this idea couldn't be introduced in consumer cameras."

Well, starting from 300 mm by 300 mm and 588 watts, it's gotta scale down quite a bit. Unless you mean to a single micro-camera, in which case it's now available.
not rated yet Jul 09, 2012
Well, starting from 300 mm by 300 mm and 588 watts, it's gotta scale down quite a bit. Unless you mean to a single micro-camera, in which case it's now available

Yes, scaled down by a couple of orders of magnitude. There's no need for such resolution. I was thinking in terms of the posibility to individually adjust exposure and focus for different parts of a picture and then use the above technology for patching together the mozaic of individual images to form a complete image. That software is really the most challenging part of creating such a composite image. It's not easy to seamlessly join multiple images together without losing image quality and/or creating visual artefacts.

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