A new camera developed by Battelle will greatly reduce the time, effort and expense needed to create a complete 360-degree viewpoints in the depths of the ocean or in other hard to reach places.
Current technology relies on multiple cameras to tilt, pan and zoom in on objects. The images that those cameras take then , are stitched together.That many cameras mean a lot of moving parts which leads to decrease in reliability. The camera can image 360 degrees without the need for any moving parts, which reduces the complexity and ultimately increases reliability. It also improves upon size, weight and power, being a 6-pound device, powered by 5 watts and runs silent.
A complex array of lenses collects the light entering the crystal globe from all angles, except the top and bottom. The light is reflected downward off a dome-shaped mirror to project a doughnut-shape image onto a 10-megapixel digital sensor, which stitches them together into a panoramic view. Signal processing, then corrects for the distortion that occurs underwater.
Intended for use by the ocean science community, it can be installed on underwater robots, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), submarine periscopes, or other stationary observation platforms. The camera also could be used by the oil and gas industry for enhanced underwater awareness in harsh environments.
An acrylic housing protects the camera so that it can withstand 5,000 pounds of pressure per square inch to allow it to operate at depths up to 10,000 feet of water.