Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) image sensors are well known for their use in digital cameras and other imaging devices, as they make the device less expensive and more efficient in terms of power consumption.
With an objective to provide a high definition camera component, BAE Systems Imaging Solutions - a manufacturer of solid-state electronic imaging components, cameras and systems - recently unveiled a high-definition scientific complementary metal oxide semiconductor (sCMOS) image sensor, the Fairchild Imaging CIS1021. It is the latest member of the company’s sCMOS product line.
Designed for collecting images through a microscope or other imaging system, the new sensor chip facilitates image capturing even in low-light conditions without sacrificing speed, resolution, or dynamic range. Precisely, it can provide high sensitivity, dynamic range and speed all at high-definition television (HDTV) resolution.
Offering more than 88dB of intra-scene dynamic range, the CIS1021 image sensor can capture images in an industry-standard 1920 x 1080 HDTV format. Available in either a monochrome or color version, it is able to capture images at speeds up to 100 frames per second at full resolution, five times faster than typical scientific imagers of 20 frames per second.
According to BAE Systems (News - Alert), the Fairchild Imaging CIS1021 is ideal for life science applications including live cell microscopy, drug discovery and real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR (News - Alert)), as well as physical science applications such as astronomy. Consequently, it can help scientists researching single molecules in the laboratory as well as scientists researching about stars in the far reaches of space.
With the general availability of CIS1021, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) camera manufacturers will be able to integrate this sensor chip into a wider array of imaging devices in the scientific segment and other markets as well such as border security, surveillance, aerospace, defense, and medical imaging.
“The CIS1021 sensor delivers essential imaging performance parameters without having to make the trade-offs inherent in other sensors available today,” said Colin Earle, deputy general manager of BAE Systems Imaging Solutions, in a statement. “Scientific applications such as live cell microscopy require imaging at extremely low light levels since too much illumination will lead to cell damage or death. The Fairchild Imaging sCMOS sensor significantly reduces that concern, while at the same time enhancing imaging speed and data collection range.”
According to BAE Systems, sCMOS technology and the CIS1021 sensor will be very useful in one of the scientific applications in the field of astronomy known as “lucky imaging,” wherein higher resolution can reduce the blurring effects of atmospheric turbulence while taking images of planets and stars through the earth's atmosphere.
The CIS1021 also enables examining living cells or DNA samples, as it features a high dynamic range that allows scientists to collect both weak and strong signals from the sample in the same image. This provides greater detail from bright or dim areas and captures data without damaging the sample.
In recent news, BAE Systems received a $313 million worth contract for continued R&D of the U.S. Army's Paladin Integrated Management (PIM). This contract is for additional engineering design, logistics development and test evaluation support - to complete the Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase of the PIM program.
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Jayashree Adkoli is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Jayashree's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Jennifer Russell