Posting in Design
Would you like to get your hands on a 50 gigapixel camera?
AWARE2 is a prototype camera that has been unveiled by researchers in the United States through a DARPA funded project. By synchronizing 98 tiny cameras in a single device, it is capable of taking photographs with a resolution of up to 50 gigapixels -- 50,000 megapixels -- according to the teams from Duke University.
The goal of the DARPA project is to design a camera that is scalable -- from lower resolution requirements to tens-of-gigapixels.
In collaboration with Duke University, the University of Arizona, the University of California San Diego, Aptina, Raytheon, RPC Photonics, and the Distant Focus Corporation, it has been led by DARPA's Dr. Nibir Dhar, engineer David Brady and professor Michael J. Fitzpatrick after receiving funding from the establishment.
The prototype device is currently capable of capturing 1.4-gigapixels of RAW data at 10fps. The monster camera is constructed from 98 small camera sensors and is currently sized at 0.75 x 0.75 x 0.5m, weighing in at 93kg. A little impractical at the moment and needing its own seat if you intend to fly on your next holiday, it also consumes 426W of power.
Engineer and project leader David Brady said:
"Each one of the microcameras captures information from a specific area of the field of view.
A computer processor essentially stitches all this information into a single highly detailed image. In many instances, the camera can capture images of things that photographers cannot see themselves but can then detect when the image is viewed later."
The camera is currently in production and will be online later this year. The next project, AWARE10, aims to create a 5 - 10 gigapixel camera by the end of the year.
Although it is likely to begin its career in military surveillance, the team hopes that in the future the camera will break into other markets in the future, including for commercial and civilian uses.
The sheer size of the prototype is due to the construction and circuitry necessary to stop overheating. As electronic devices and components become smaller and more efficient, the team hopes that eventually the next generation of gigapixel cameras -- a photographer's dream -- will eventually become public.
For more information, view the video below:
Image credit: Duke University/ DARPA
Jun 21, 2012
I really enjoyed reading this and I am quite excited about the gigapixel cameras as it is just a dream for many photographers, it will be doing well soon. http://landmarkslegacy.com/
I use my digital camera a lot to put pictures on the internet. How long would it take to download a 50 megapixel photo? Hours? Days?
First, military surveillance, then industrial uses, you could quickly take a photo of a part or a machine, which could then be examined for defects, instead of scanning it with a standard resolution device to find cracks etc. Could also be used to take photos of buildings, monuments, etc for highly detailed modeling.
Frank, whatever it is, multiply it by another 1000. And a one TeraB hard drive could store all of 20 pics!