New Gigapixel Cameras

Wide-angled gigapixel satellite surveillance: Researchers at Sony and the University of Alabama have come up with a wide-angle camera that can image a 10-kilometre-square area from an altitude of 7.5 kilometres with a resolution better than 50 centimetres per pixel.

The system means that we could existing image capture chips with sub-gigapixel resolution to form fast gigapixel images.

Each chip is receiving the light from one tube.

They are building an array of light sensitive chips that each record small parts of a larger image and place them at the focal plane of a large multiple-lens system. The camera would have gigapixel resolution, and able to record images at a rate of 4 frames per second.

The team suggests that such a camera mounted on an aircraft could provide images of a large city by itself. This would even allow individual vehicles to be monitored without any danger of losing them as they move from one ground level CCTV system to another.

The camera could have military applications too, says the team. Mounted on the underside of an unmanned aerial vehicle, the gigapixel camera could provide almost real-time surveillance images of large areas for troops on the ground.

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, in collaboration with scientists at NASA’s Ames Research Center, have built a low-cost robotic device that enables any digital camera to produce breathtaking gigapixel (billions of pixels) panoramas, called GigaPans.

The Gigapan is part of the global connection project

It is also part of the Carnegie Mellon Robot 250 project

Gigapixel and terapixel pictures have been taken before. The new systems make it easier and cheaper for more people to do it.

There are single image sensors able to capture 111 million pixels

Common resolutions on commercial digital cameras

High resolution cameras available in 2006